Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture

By Sarasi Paranamanna
Being unanimously commended by prominent architects from all over the world, Geoffrey Bawa’s works remain the most influential and prolific not only in Sri Lanka but in the South Asia region as well. In an attempt to honour this significant personality’s creativity and to encourage talented architects, the inaugural cycle of Geoffrey Bawa Awards was initiated in 2007. Marking the success of the event, entries of high quality, originality and creativity were submitted and the award was jointly given to Shyamika de Silva and Lalyn Collure while the award for the runners up was shared by Palinda Kannagara and Nela de Zoysa.

Its objective is to recognise and encourage exemplary works of architecture while taking these products of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture to the public for the laymen to appreciate. On July 23, the opening of applications for the second cycle of Geoffrey Bawa Awards was announced at the Geoffrey Bawa residence in Colombo 3. Applications are called from contenders to the award on the prescribed forms available at the offices of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust from 9 a.m to 5.00 p.m. The documents should be submitted before by November 15, 2010. Both local and foreign architects can apply for the award if the edifice is in Sri Lanka and the building has to be occupied for a minimum of four months while the completion should be done in less than 10 years.

The winner of the second cycle will be chosen following a short listing of 10 entries and the winner will be announced on the July 23 2011; Geoffrey Bawa’s 92nd birth anniversary. Announcing the winner is will be at a gala event where Michael Ondaatje will make the keynote address and the winner will receive a sum of one million rupees. The judges for the second award cycle will be Suhanya Raffel (trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust), architect Kerry Hill from Singapore, Architect Jayantha Perera (immediate past president and nominee of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects) and Ajith De Costa (textile technologist, industrialist and heritage conservationist).

The Trust is indeed looking forward to see a collection of works which integrates style, tradition and originality in this cycle as well. They had received much pleasure in the first cycle seeing the innovative thinking in the varied projects that were short listed for the award. Hence, the Trust is enthusiastic to promote the innovative good designs as Bawa himself was a restless designer who never stood still and never repeated himself. The Trust is committed to increase awareness not only among architects but among all people who are involved in construction industry and to reverse the current adverse construction trends in the landscape of urban Sri Lanka. The members of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust stated that they are hoping that the award process will raise the ambitions of the participants and that it will bestow a special status on the winners.



A phenomenal name in hairdressing and beauty culture

Chrissy Rosairo is a phenomenal name in the hairdressing and beauty culture field of Sri Lanka for her experiences in the field dates about two decades back. Apart from being a hairdresser and a beautician, she is also a teacher. Recently, one of her students bagged a Gold Medal at the City and Guilds graduation.
The Nation met this enthusiastic hairdresser for a rendezvous about her life and experiences as a teacher and her future plans.

“I started working with City and Guilds about six years ago, during a time where earning an academic qualification in beauty culture or hairdressing was not considered important in Sri Lanka. Through my personal learning experiences and training I had already received in UK, I was well aware of the importance of theory to excel in this field,” said Rosairo as she recalled her collaboration with the Institution

Rosairo who hails from a family of designers, had spent a substantial period of her youth absorbing inspiration for her true call – hairdressing. Thereafter she had partaken in various training programs held in England, Singapore and various other countries. “Through my personal experiences I realized the importance of merging theory and practical knowledge in order to become a successful hairdresser or a beautician,” she added.
Recently, one of her students was awarded the City and Guilds Gold Medal for hairdressing and Rosairo says that this is one of the most memorable moments in her life.

“It was very gratifying to see that my students were able to create whatever I had instilled in them,” she added.
As a teacher, she pointed out her most powerful tools are communication skills and values such as honesty and sincerity. She says she always encourage her students to develop a flair for practical skills as well as theory. “I teach my students the basics but I never work in a way that hinders their creativity. The full freedom is given to pursue their creativities. I am very happy to say that my students have now started working in some of the most reputed salons in the country as well as abroad”.

She has been a part of the field of hairdressing and beauty-care for over 20 years now. “My most treasured earnings over the years are my experiences. It gives me great satisfaction to know that there are many who succeeded in their lives and careers from some simple things I taught them. I am also quite impressed to see satisfaction of my clients and happy indeed because I have created something for them,” she added.
As an advice to the novices in the field she added that the most important fact is to develop fond and passion towards the profession. “They need to update themselves. Caring for clients is vital because their wellbeing should be their priority. Educating oneself and participating in competitions are methods through which one can absorb and experience a lot of knowledge to develop their career,” she said.

Mentioning of her future plans, Rosairo said that she intend to expand her salon in Colombo as well as develop a formal education system for hairdressing in Sri Lanka. “Educating one-self is essential for the development of his/her career. I wish to provide a chance for those who are interested in the field of hairdressing and beauty culture to equip them with the knowledge which would help them to excel in their field,” she said with certainty.


ArtWalk 2010

Here’s art, but not as you know it. A jigsaw puzzle? Yes. Extraordinary? Yes. ArtWalk is set to outdo itself this August. the.creative.house. is about to bring these two concepts into a collision on the catwalk. Think bizarre futurism, think art redefined.

Photography, sculpture, dance, painting and graphic design are just some themes that have influenced what will saunter down this radically innovative runway. Progressive designers are bubbling with passion and energy as they combine style with inspiration and originality. They will drape their models in the colourfully creative, the inventive, and the aesthetically appealing.

You last saw ArtWalk on the Street. Next, in the form of an ingenious jigsaw masterpiece, it will be unfolded piece by piece at a location that is yet to be disclosed. The media will reveal only slight hints to the public; that’s one more thing to muse over.

This explosion of inspired creativity will explore art from diverse areas of life. Powerful is too understated a description for the fashion show. Anticipate a fiery hot explosion of fashion fusion. ArtWalk will query the unthinkable and the absurd, and bring it to life. Imagine artistic diversity, and synthesise that thought with brilliance. Expect more. The show will give you reason to.

ArtWalk will experiment with marbles, clay, echoes, mirrors, holograms and popsicles. Designs will be epic and kaleidoscopic, deliciously vibrant. Models will be geishas; designs will glow in the dark. ArtWalk will break through the conventional, and revitalise the rational. Here’s something to talk about.
Feeling enticed, or possibly…perplexed?


Amelia-Acting is great, but film a flop

By Peter Marshall
The key to making an engaging film about a famous person, when many have tried the same thing before, is to give the public something new, or to at least expand on some aspect of that person’s life that has only been touched on before.

For those who are not, as they say, in the know, the film is about one of the female pioneers of flying in the 1930’s, who twice flew the Atlantic (once as a passenger and once as a solo pilot, just five years since Charles Lindberg had become the first man to do so). Despite living in such tumultuous times that included a World War and the American economic depression, she was still one of the most famous people of her time and an inspiration for women the world over who yearned for equality with their male counterparts.

Starring such Hollywood luminaries as Richard Gere (as George Putnam – Earhart’s publicist and subsequent husband) and the Oscar winning Hillary Swank who plays the adventurer of the skies herself, not to mention a bit part for Ewan McGregor (Gene Vidal - Earhart’s temporary lover) and Christopher Eccleston as navigator Fred Noonan, this picture has all the makings of something very special.

And to be fair, Swank delivers a typically adept performance as the famous aviator, with Gere-and-co bringing up the rear with fine performances of their own. Considering the fact that the film seems to look perfectly good on the screen, both in terms of vast landscapes Earhart crosses by air and also in terms of the period look of the 1930’s that is fantastically brought back to life, the blame for the film’s failings must be aimed squarely at the direction of Mira Nair.

The main problem with this film, as hinted to in the first paragraph is that it offers nothing new to such a well known story. At times, the film touches on Amelia’s clash with corporate sponsorship as a means to generate funds for her to fly, but then the film suddenly pulls up on the stick before too much is revealed about this side of her life. Much the same can be said for the initial lack of respect for women pilots or her affair with Gene Vidal (McGregor) with us barely allowed to see the two lovers kiss before she goes running back to her husband; as much as anything this gives the talented McGregor little to do in the film and thus wastes an otherwise sound asset. There is also a rather flat feeling to the film in between her feats of aerial daring do with the filmmakers doing little to show what makes the woman behind the celebrity tick. This gloss rather than depth approach is made all the worse for the fact that depth is exactly what you are looking for in a biopic film.

As a stand alone piece of cinema it is reasonably interesting, assuming you knew little about the great woman of the air to start with, especially when it comes to Swank’s fine mimicry of her character and the good art direction. Even so, the whole project can’t seem to shake the feel of a high budget made for TV movie rather than a big screen epic.

All in all it’s a well dressed, well photographed movie that tells the basic story of one of the words great female aviators who captured the hearts of the public with her sense of unquenchable adventure. Unfortunately though, that’s as far as it goes, giving you the feeling that so much more could have been revealed given the array of acting talent on offer. The film is worth a watch if only for Swank’s impressive turn as Amelia but as a film it really doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before.