Anup Vega: His art is his Manthra
Anup Vega says he is notorious. That may be so
because of the way he presents himself: long hair, disheveled
beard, multi coloured clothing that requires you not to blink in
confusion the first time you meet him, the long chain with
wooden beads. He has it all. But what he has apart from all the
paraphernalia geared to make him different is his art.
Anup was born in Kurunegala but he now lives in
Napana in the Dumbara Mitiyawatha. Educated first in the village
school, he then went on to several others, finally ending up at
Isipatana Vidyalaya, Colombo.
"I am a regular person, I drink, smoke, do all
the things that normal people do but my art is my manthra" says
Anup. He needs no special identification because many people
know his work. It is difficult at times to connect the artist
who in his last exhibition ‘Remaining Apart’ painted serene and
at times dreamy works of art, to the individual high on energy
and character. Nevertheless Anup, like many other artist who
often needs a touch of eccentricity to nourish their artistic
souls is a highly creative and energetic person.
In contrast to his previous exhibitions where he
portrayed village life, scenery, nature and the like, in this
exhibition he has limited his observations to one entity alone.
This time it is a beautiful village damsel that has captured his
art and his imagination. Does he have any deeper meanings behind
his work, "none" he says. The paintings are like an exercise
"like doing push ups" according to him. There is no need to have
any deeper meaning behind what he does because drawing is what
he does best. "I draw for pleasure" says Anup. Why only charcoal
and pencil drawings this time and he says that he wanted a
change and the Gallery liked his line drawings.
Anup is not alone in his artistry in Napana. He
shares the beautiful village with many other souls who have
creative genius within them. Surabha gurunnanse, George Keyt are
two people who have previously lived in Napana, a few kilometers
from Kandy. "Napana is a beautiful village, the people are
beautiful and they make lots of beautiful music" it was
The drawings numbering around thirty are now on
display at the Paradise Road Galleries, Alfred House Road,
Pix by Pradeep Nishantha Herath