- What's your story?
My practice revolves around how I perceive different landscapes and spaces. I like to identify with them at an emotional level, where there is a historical significance or a personal experience, and interpret it in conceptual manner in my work. As a Sri Lankan born artist with a background in architectural studies, I draw inspirations both from my passion for architecture and travelling.
- What is your unique approach to making art?
I have always been inspired by the traditional rock and wall paintings in Sri Lanka. It is very common for Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka to have paintings depicting scenes from Buddha’s 550 lives. Such scenes have been used for decorating walls of temples for centuries in Sri Lanka. These scenes are very detailed and consists of “ Pali” scripts, symbols along with the colourful drawings. Despite these paintings being from different time periods, various parts of the island and by multiple artists, they are coherent and come together to depict one story rather seamlessly.
I like to carry inspiration of story telling from the wall paintings in my work. The concept of different stories on its own in details as well as for it to work as one large work. I explore this in my work through using lots of different vanishing points, architectural and spatial details with mark making and a sense of ambiance through colour and layers. I try to identify the character of each place through my experiences and memories, then pick out distinctive qualities that contribute in highlighting the character of the place, and emphasise them in my paintings; so the final work tells a story.
What motivates you, or why do you do what you do?
I try to visit different countries every year with my family. If it is not overseas traveling, we still do lots of traveling locally. When I visit a place, instead of getting my sketch book out and making drawings, I spend the time exploring the place immersing in the culture, mingling with locals and taking pictures of things that I think are important. I like to collect all the little items on trips such as local newspapers, coins, and train tickets. It is much later that I go back to them and start reminiscing and sketching. It is more like a response to a nostalgic feeling, where I am able to recall an experience in my memory.
4. What do want your life to look like in 5 years and what are you doing to get there?
In five years I would like be a better story teller with my work. I am not exactly sure how I will do that. I think that uncertainty is also part of personal growth. The intention of producing solid work with originality is very important to me. This might not seem ambitious to many, but it is a very important aspect in the painting process for me. Personally I feel that is how I have grown so far. I have been very lucky with opportunities to exhibit my work, awards, and international clients. And they all came through genuine, honest thoughts and work I put in my work. Till date, each piece of work has been unique and I have been able to paint original thoughts and feelings in every piece I do. I hope I manage to do that every time in future.
Videos from Aasiri's Masterclass & Studio Visit:
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Assiri is a British artist with Sri Lankan roots. She has a background in architectural studies, and has lived in five countries and four continents. Her art-practice is relies heavily on feelings of nostalgia and memories. In this video we visit her studio and learn more about her practice, and how she's staying creative whilst in lockdown! #Curaty #nonakedwalls #wechampionartists
Available artworks by Aasiri
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