Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PolisPlan @ Pop Up Parramatta

We are excited to have moved into Pop Up Space at Shop 10, Connection Arcade in Parramatta.  We are collaborating with Pop UP Parra to present our artwork and our books.  We will be working from this space from Tue-Fri from 10am to 6pm till the 17th of April.  

We want to engage in conversation with you about how the internet is transforming our societies and how people are using it to make changes in their own lives. So pop in and have a chat about making conscious choices in life, the circular economy, the sharing economy and how we might transition to a low carbon future.  

“Lend your voice only to the sounds of freedom.”  Jewel from the song Life Uncommon

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nil’s Radio Interview on Local Radio Triple H in Hornsby

I am excited to be interviewed on local radio TripleH by Phillipa Bird.  We talk about a number of things including my current exhibition at Brooklyn and our future plans.  Have a listen...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fate or Destiny at Red Fish Cafe Gallery - Brooklyn

2015 sees the Fate or Destiny exhibition find a new home at the Red Fish Gallery in Brooklyn.  We met Pete and Myff through a Brooklyn resident who visited the Hornsby author talk and through that one incident, many connections have now been forged.  We’ve sold a few images at the North Sydney
Pop Up, so we have new frames made before bringing the images to Brooklyn.  I’ve decided to mix it up a little and the exhibition here also includes some images from my first exhibition, Connections.  It’s fun to see some of the old images on the walls again and the exhibition is really well received in Brooklyn and books and an image are sold within a few days of opening.

Pete and Myff have organised an opening for us on the 18th of January.  It is a Sunday afternoon and a hot one but the cafe draws in quite a few people and I enjoy the low-key atmosphere.  I’ve drafted a small speech and share some of the ideas behind the exhibition.  My art is not just about putting up some beautiful photographs but rather about conveying ideas.  I am glad that so far, most of the people who have come to view the exhibition have been really engaged by the writing as much as they have enjoyed the photos. 

I talk about the essence of Fate or Destiny and the 3 things that I believe are part of going on this journey.  The first step is about understanding yourself.  The second is about having the courage to articulate your dreams and the third about taking some action.  I conclude my talk by saying I hoped my work inspired people to take a risk, whatever that might be and end my talk with a quote from Henry David Thoreau.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

To me this is the essence of photography.  It doesn’t matter what gear you have, whether you can take a technically perfect photograph or where you have been...if you have nothing to say through your photo, then is there any point in taking it?

“If your eyes could speak, what would they say?"

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas in Sydney

Its been a few years since we were in Sydney for Christmas and I am glad to be home and to finally have a bit of time to relax.  We catch up with friends in the lead up to Christmas and celebrate with our friends Anita and Mario who have opened up a new cafe in Berowra Waters just in time to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary.

The lead up to Christmas is rocked by an incident at the popular Lindt cafe.  A lone gun man takes the cafe goes hostage and two people end up losing their lives as the rest of the hostages are freed.  It is an awful incident and in the next week, Martin Place is full of tributes and messages to the two people who lost their lives.

The weather is warming up and we decide we want to get to some events this summer.  I’ve never been to carols in the domain so we decide to tick that one off the bucket list. We arrive a little late but we manage to squeeze our picnic blanket on what seems like the only bit of grass left.  It’s a nice warm and dry evening - perfect for enjoying a bit of Christmas music.

Christmas is once again celebrated with both of our families.  Christmas eve with my sister and Christmas day with Steve’s extended clan although this year Con, Chrissa and the kids are in Hawaii.

Thankfully, we have good weather on Christmas day, and we spend a relaxed afternoon at Jim and Eleni’s, as they host the festivities.  We catch up with Eleni’s friend Penelope, visiting from Greece and tuck into lamb on the spit and many other goodies.

We see the New Year in on the water again.  We have booked tickets from the ferry at Rosebay and after enjoying some great Thai food, we watch the fireworks explode over Sydney.  Happy 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

North Sydney Pop Up

Fate or Destiny has been doing the rounds in Sydney.  After being at the Newcastle gallery for 6 weeks, it moved to the Pine Street Gallery in Chippendale while I was in Sri Lanka.  Now, it is time to install it at the North Sydney Pop Up, where we are collaborating with a number of other artists.  The Pop Up initiative is being taken up by a number of Councils and is a wonderful opportunity for artists to showcase their work in different parts of Sydney.

The space in North Sydney is a great location.  There are many locals who stop by to have a peek and a few office workers who stop by during their lunch break.  The three artists we are sharing this space with are Victoria Chu, a shoe maker, Jon Watkins who makes cigar box guitars and John Wright, a sculptor.  We’ve met them through our friends Myff and Peter who live in Brooklyn.  Peter is also an artists and his work has also hung in the Pop Up.  I am
the guest artist for December, so I am given lots of space and a couple of the images are also on show in the window.

On Thursday, the 4th of December we have an opening.  The event has been advertised through North Sydney Council and quite a few people turn up.  The atmosphere is great.  There’s lots of wine and beer to help the evening along and a DJ livens up the mood outside with a great selection of music.

This must be my lucky night as a passer by walks in and decides to purchase my lead image - Fate or Destiny.  It is an striking piece and many people have often remarked on the colours and the composition.

During our time here we get to John, Vic and Jon.  John’s sculpture David sits outside and people stop to admire it and pin a Christmas message on it.  It is a great piece that draws people into the shop.  My photographs in the window are also a good attraction.  Vic holds workshops for various people who are keen to learn how to make their own sandals.  The class is popular and brings another set of visitors into the shop on Saturdays.  Jon’s guitars are colourful and each has its own design and many people are curious about how they were made and if they can be played...yes they can!

Our time at the Pop Up goes quickly and soon it is time to shut up shop for Christmas but for Fate or Destiny, the journey is only beginning.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014


It has been a long time since my sister and I spent such a long time together in Sri Lanka.  It is a sad time for us, having just lost our mum.  But it is also a realisation that home as we knew it will never be the same again.

After all the formalities are over, we spend a bit of time cleaning out the house we were born in.  We spent the first 10 or so years of our lives here and the house is very special to us.  Yet, given that we both live in Sri Lanka, it is not realistic to think we could hold on to it.

We clean it out, distribute the bits and pieces of furniture still left in it and get ready to start the process of saying goodbye to it.  Our albums are full of the black and white photographs we took here.  We try and recreate a bit of this history before my sister heads back to Sydney.

My last week in Sri Lanka is quite hectic but there is one thing I find time for and that is to visit the Sunday Market in the town I grew up in.  Walking around with a camera elicits some looks, some smiles and a few questions as to where I am from.  Fortunately, I can answer back in Sinhalese - my native tongue - and they go back to their stalls somewhat appeased.

Finally it is time for me to leave.  Home as I have known it for more than 50 years is now no more.  I will always come back to Sri Lanka to visit my close family and friends, but will I still think of it as home?  I don’t know for sure...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five weeks in Sri Lanka

I spend 5 weeks in Sri Lanka after the funeral and it is a hectic time.  We have a lot to sort through, de cluttering the house and putting things in order before it is time to head back to Sydney.  We have an alms giving at the Elders Home according to the Sri Lankan tradition.  
My mum was very much involved with this home as it is run by the Methodist Church.  She often treated the ladies here to lunch in memory of my dad so we knew she would be pleased we had decided to give the ladies here a nice buriyani lunch in memory of her.

We also spend time catching up with some of my mum’s friends who were unable to come to the funeral as well as our close friends and family.  The funeral is a stressful time and there isn’t enough time to really meet and catch up with everyone who visits, so it is good to spend quality time with the family afterwards.  We are grateful to so many people who really rallied round my mum when she was ill, so it is good to be able to say thank you to everyone in person.

Some mornings, my sister and I walk along the beach.  We lived just a few minutes from the coast and I have always felt an incredible connection to water and listening the crashing of waves is my favourite form of relaxation.  

I am also glad to reconnect with my classmates.  In Sri Lanka, we spend all our childhood years in the one school, so the ties with classmates is a very strong one.

There are so many people who will miss my mum, besides my sister and me and our family and friends.  

I knew my mum was a generous lady but even I have been amazed at the stories I heard.From the fishman who’s family has brought us fish for generations to the garbage collectors and Ari and Leela, the people who cared for her...she will be missed.  

One of the stranger things that happened was that one of my friends Yvonne who I initially met in the Middle East and later reconnected with in Sydney happened to be visiting Sri Lanka at the same time.  She messaged me on FB and we managed to fit in a couple of days where she and her friends visited and stayed with me at my mum’s house.  

It was a hectic time, with tears and laughter and many moments of reminiscing.  I will always miss my mum but I leave Sri Lanka, knowing that the memories accumulated over more than 50 years will sustain me.