In celebration of Europe Day 2016, the European Union (EU) Delegation in Colombo hosted the EU Art Workshop on Saturday, May 7 at Park Street Mews. The workshop featured 15 talented artists from around the island, who had 10 hours to get their interpretation of the theme ‘United in Diversity’ onto 120 x 60cm canvases.
In early April, the EU invited artists to explore this multi-faceted theme and send in their proposed artwork with a concept note, explaining how the theme was featured within it. From a pool of exceptional submissions, members of a panel at the EU selected Mooththathambi Sasikumar, Dr Shanaka Kulathunga, Sandeepa Vithanage, Chandana Samarakoon, Narma, Nur Danya, Raidha Fayaz, Lalani Susanthika, Zain Riya, Chiara Catenazzi, Sanjeewa Kumara, Asmar Atham, Yasmin Buckman, Jayani Illankoon and Rukshan Maduranga, as the artists whose work would be featured at the event. The participants represented a broad range of nationalities, ages and levels of experience as artists, and had travelled to the event from home towns across the country including Kandy, Kurunegala, Samanthurai and Gampola.
The EU’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives David Daly was present at the event and handed out certificates of participation to the artists.
The event was open to the public, and many visitors dropped in throughout the day, fascinated by the opportunity to see the widely diverse paintings taking shape right before their eyes. The artists were provided with the canvas as well as a starter kit comprising acrylic paints, brushes, natural charcoal and pencils.
In addition to the workshop, the 15 selected paintings will also be displayed at the official Europe Day celebration, and will then be photographed so that they can be reproduced for use in the Delegation’s annual calendar for 2017 which is distributed widely including to government institutions, embassies, educational institutions and private organizations.
Every May 9, the European Union (EU) celebrates the anniversary of the day in 1950 when Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the EU, made his ‘Schuman Declaration’. The declaration outlined a vision to unite separate European states into a single community. EU institutions in Europe as well as its offices all over the world organise a variety of activities for all ages to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.