London-based artist Annette Fernando (1991) will showcase her work ‘Girls Like Us’ at the Rv8y Stvdio Gvll3ry in Colombo from August 14 to 29, 2015. Born and raised in London, UK, Annette’s father is Sri Lankan and her mother half Italian, half French. Having initially completing a foundation diploma in Art & Design at the Camberwell College of Art & Design, Annette moved on to the BA Fine Art course at the Central Saint Martins’ College of Art & Design. Annette has exhibited work across the United Kingdom, France and Spain and in 2014 won the Student Award for the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize – One of the biggest draughtsmanship exhibitions in the UK. Annette is the granddaughter of Panthiyage Henry Quintus Fernando, one of the members of Sri Lanka’s legendary 43 Group. She is currently visiting Sri Lanka, as she travels across Asia to get in touch with her roots.
Her visual style is rooted in the realm of comic books, romantic pulp novels and film noire and her work contains copious amounts of cinematic references, with a particular focus on the British and French New Wave movements. Much of her references for the ‘Girls Like Us’ exhibition in Colombo contain scenes from Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Joseph Losey, Francois Truffaut, Gerry O’Hara and Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematic oeuvre.The exhibited images discuss the representation of people in everyday situations and the impact of film on identity: This ranges from voyeuristic perspectives to the simplicity of observation – including the representation of women and sensuality in cinema across the last century. Tension, passion and angst are held in suspension as she explores the relationship between man and woman from the perspective of a gothic visionary. These discussions encompass the passage of dreamscapes to darker, more psychological areas of cultural conditioning. By recreating resonant, biographical scenes from selected works of cinema, Annette opens up such mediated, archival images to a more introspective platform. The reflections of television screens serve as a reassurance with the creation of artificial comforts. Both artist and audience are provided with the opportunity to acknowledge an embedded repression and the denial of true experience. These instances are able to unfold into something more fulfilling and tangible due to Annette’s questioning.