Celebrating Life – wild and otherwise

Pursuing the objective of ensuring ‘freedom from drug abuse,’ the Sri Lankan Anti Narcotics Association (SLANA) celebrates life in the wilderness through its calendar for 2013.

Maurizio-Boscheri-SLANA-calendar-Sri-Lanka-5-600x420The work of three young artists, Rajiv Welikala, Hiran de Silva and Maurizio Boscheri, the calendar begins the year with the celebration of ‘The Sri Lankan Blue Magpie’ and ‘The Asian Paradise Flycatcher’.
It has a touch of the exotic that only a brush on canvas can bring and is the work of Maurizio Boscheri, the self-taught painter whose ability to transfer mood on to canvas has enabled this simple idea of a calendar to be turned into a work of art and possibly a collector’s item. The marriage of still photographs upon the brush strokes required a little more help. The credits go to Sabita Nadesan for concept and Sameera for layout.

The work of three young artists, Rajiv Welikala, Hiran de Silva and Maurizio Boscheri, the calendar begins the year with the celebration of ‘The Sri Lankan Blue Magpie’ and ‘The Asian Paradise Flycatcher’.
It has a touch of the exotic that only a brush on canvas can bring and is the work of Maurizio Boscheri, the self-taught painter whose ability to transfer mood on to canvas has enabled this simple idea of a calendar to be turned into a work of art and possibly a collector’s item. The marriage of still photographs upon the brush strokes required a little more help. The credits go to Sabita Nadesan for concept and Sameera for layout.

The SLANA is an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). As a not for profit, membership driven organization, it is registered with the Ministry of Social services and is an approved charity under tax law. The calendar is for sale at the SLANA at No. 5 Kirimandala Mawatha, Nawala. The revenue goes into SLANA’s efforts to rid this world of drug abuse.
Marrying the traditional with the modern, the calendar provides a unique glimpse of the wildlife in Sri Lanka through the eyes of these artists. It is difficult at times to separate the canvas from the photograph and the light from shade. The message of the wonder of life and the importance of celebrating it and keeping it out of harm’s way is very clear. SLANA notes that according to the last biodiversity report (2004) of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), nearly 16,000 wildlife species are currently threatened with extinction, with more than 200 already ‘possibly extinct’ and almost 3,000 ‘critically endangered’. Although extinction is a natural process that has occurred on the planet for millions of years, the rate at which species are disappearing today is alarming.
The report claims that the biggest threat to the earth’s flora and fauna is habitat destruction and degradation, followed by overexploitation of species through hunting, fishing, harvesting and economic trade with pollution, diseases and alien species invasion contributing their share to the destruction.

There is very little that escapes the three artists who contributed to this work. Rajiv Welikala, who is an executive in the apparel industry, believes wilderness is around us all the time, including in our own backyard, a sentiment I would share. It is only when one is boxed in an apartment twelve floors up in a concrete jungle that you begin to appreciate the squirrel that eats up your share of mangoes and guava. Hiran oscillates between a life in the printing industry and photography, having embarked on digital photography recently after years of working with 35 mm. His enthusiasm for photography began in 1968 and has had his work published on several occasions.
Maurizio Boscheri, born in Italy, is now a full time artist and has had his work auctioned by Sotheby’s in Lisbon. His work is displayed around the world in private collections, institutions, museums both in Italy and around the world.
As one has been told, a picture is worth a thousand words; so enjoy what this calendar offers!

Maurizio-Boscheri-SLANA-calendar-Sri-Lanka-6 Maurizio-Boscheri-SLANA-calendar-Sri-Lanka-4 Maurizio-Boscheri-SLANA-calendar-Sri-Lanka-1