Three Sri Lankan artists — Jagath Weerasinghe, Anura Krishantha and Pala Pothupitiye — through 45 paintings and installations, probe how violence and war have altered a society and a country. Taken together, the three artists in their current exhibition at Gallery Espace advance diverse narratives of resistance developed in a society and a country that has for last 30 years witnessed multiple crises, the most visible of them being a highly destructive civil war that ended in 2009. Particular narrative strategies range from cartographic representations of collective memory to the critique of consumerism through a thoughtful foregrounding of kitsch. Notions of nationhood, citizenry and humanity are problematised in these narratives, painted, drawn and constructed to be read without compromising either the meanings or the aesthetics. Their art crucially avoids banality or naivety, the usual pitfalls of politically explicit art, but navigates a potent expressive trail that is deeply and consciously political.
(The exhibition “Narratives of Resistance” is on at Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi till January 9)