Anoma’s vivid world in a monograph | Daily News

Anoma’s vivid world in a monograph

Anoma with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe
Anoma with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe

She is destined to communicate that is incommunicable. Her works of art thus are beyond description that opens new vistas in people’s minds. She is Anoma Wijewardene.

Encapsulating fifty years of Anoma Wijewardene’s journey in art, the monograph ‘Anoma’ which was first launched at the iconic award winning Central Saint Martins University of Arts London on International Women’s Day, made its Colombo debut in September this year.

The Colombo launch in collaboration with Colombo No 7 Gin, Shangri-La Colombo, AOD Colombo and The Residences at One Galle Face heralded a distinguished gathering including the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe and collectors from both Sri Lanka and abroad.

The elite crowd was eager to obtain the monograph ‘Anoma’ at an introductory price rich with inspiring content. ‘Anoma’ will be available at Barefoot Bookshop, Galle Road Colombo 3 and Urban Island, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7 from September 10.

The book, printed in Singapore includes 200 images, alongside five essays and contributions from several renowned writers. It also documents the process with images from Anoma’s sketchbooks, collectors’ details, a biography and chronology.

It is edited by Richard Simon who has also contributed an essay and is designed in London by the award winning Micha Weidmann Studio which consults for the Tate Gallery and the Royal Academy of Art. Art direction is by the formidable Chris Sanderson of The Future Laboratory whose clients include Google, BMW and BBC.

Princeton’s Professor Emeritus Gananath Obeyesekere, the gallerist Jana Manuelpillai of The Noble Sage Collection London, Art Writer Rosalyn d’Mello from New Delhi, and former Head of Central Saint Martins and University of Arts London Professor Emerita Jane Rapley have penned essays. Further contributions include those by Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe, Ameena Hussein, Ranjini Obeyesekere and Radhika Coomaraswamy.

An alumna of the powerful ‘Oxbridge’ of the Arts, Central Saint Martins which in recognition of her illustrious creative career partnered her at the Monograph’s London launch. Anoma’s fellow alumni include Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Pierce Brosnan (of James Bond fame), Sir James Dyson and Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Savithri Rodrigo called Anoma, an icon in the creative canvass of the world of art.

Speaking at the Colombo event Anoma announced that her next chapter will focus on supporting women in art through a foundation. “Even in 2019 the great art institutions of the world carry very few works by women”, she said.

A portion of the sales from the book will support and mentor women who aspire to a career in art. This process has informally begun and the first woman to benefit from this initiative has already had her debut exhibition.

“This monograph has a lifetime of my work and I feel that it is more relevant at present. My works revolve around co-existence in its broader perspective. I selected this medium of art to heal the world. I work because art is what I do best. It is the air that I breathe and I can’t imagine a life without it” Anoma further said.

Being the only Sri Lankan solo artist to be invited and show at the European Cultural Council during the 58th Venice Biennale 2019, Anoma has amassed international recognition for her works spanning for a period of five decades.

It was seventy years back the ’43 Group which included George Keyt, Justine Deraniyagala, Ivan Peiris and George Claessen were invited to this ‘Olympics’ of Art.

Anoma’s work was featured on the cover of British Vogue 1974 and she exhibited in 2016 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery.

Anoma is the elder daughter of the late veteran Sri Lankan inventor, Ray Wijewardene who represented Sri Lanka at the 1968 summer Olympics in sailing.


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