The Alliance Française de Kotte à Colombo presents the ‘ABU Collection of Collage’ by Prasad Abu Bakr at its gallery at 11, Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 05 (adjoining Police Park).
Sponsored by Pegasus Reef Hotel, the exhibition is open to the public from Friday 20th to Sunday 29th November from 10am to 6pm daily.
Chief Guest at the invitees-only opening on 19th November will be Mr. Harsha Jayasinghe, General Manager of the Pegasus Reef Hotel while the Guest of Honour will be Mr. Claude Alexandre Martinez, General Delegate of the Alliance Francaise Foundation in Sri Lanka.
In this exhibition, Abu the artist combines his two favourite techniques to compose pictures creating unusual collage compositions. An amateur photographer himself but having a long artistic career to his credit, Abu has formed a collection of artworks combining photography with painting and pasting of ‘bits n pieces’ of paper torn off from magazines, creating a visual impact of rare visual beauty.
His involvement with the arts began as a self-taught artist until he came under the direction of late Mrs. Cora Abraham (pioneer of the present Cora Abraham Art Classes – once also known as Melbourne Art Classes) where his creative instincts were brought out and sharpened, not by rigid drawing or painting techniques but mostly through her attitude towards children and their response and attitude towards creativity in their evolving life. “It was an excellent kick-start for me at a tender age, which I cherish up to date”, says Abu.
Abu has used his creative instincts to nourish other fields in the arts such as batiks, interior decorating, fashion designing, creative crafts, photography and literature. However he used his talent in painting to enhance most of the above artistic exercises he got involved in all along.
His involvement in batiks began when he started work with late Vipula Dharmawardena as an artist for wall hangings. He later joined Mrs. Ena De Silva, the lady and her designer out-fit responsible for creating the three gigantic Lanka Oberoi lobby pennants’ hanging over head at the Atrium Lobby from the late 70s until recent times. Under her direction however Abu was trained to design for batik garments where his first ever exposure was designing for ladies wear and involving himself in fashion shows organised by one of Colombo’s leading boutiques ‘Mariposa’.
Taking a lead from there onwards, ABU created a name for himself as one of the most sought-after dress designers in the batik industry at the time. His tenure at ‘Buddhi Batiks’, from 1976 to 1982 gave him the opportunity to explore the field of designing for ladies-wear and producing fashion shows, viewed mainly by foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka. In later years he produced his own collections that went on show at many leading star class hotels in Colombo. Between the years 1982 -1985 Abu worked as a creative ‘Window Designer’ in the Middle East travelling through many countries such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, etc.
During which period he availed himself to travel through many other countries in region such as Tunis, Turkey and Iran, exposing himself to many cultural and artistic aspects those countries had on offer.
Abu’s exposure overseas sharpened his knowledge in the creative arts and gave him the opportunity to work as an interior designer for leading hotel groups here and travel overseas as a pavilion designer at leading travel fairs where Sri Lanka was taking part promoting tourism.
“This current collection consists of around 30 images ad is a novel creative exercise I have been working on over the recent years”, he says.
Situated at 11, Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 05, the “Alliance Française de Kotte” is France’s ONLY French language and cultural centre in the Colombo City and the Greater Colombo areas. There are no other such branches in Colombo.
With increasing numbers of students every term, it has become the preferred choice of all Sri Lankans, both young and adults, who wish to learn the French language, with certification and diplomas fully recognised by France.
The Alliance Française de KOTTE is fully affiliated to the Fondation Alliance Française in Paris and enjoys the total patronage of the Government of France and the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka.