Cinnamon Colomboscope is a multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival organised by Cinnamon hotels and resorts along with John Keells Foundation. The festival was founded by EUNIC Sri Lanka (Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française de Kotte). Over the past 4 years, the festival has consistently built a platform for contemporary art in Sri Lanka.
Recognised as an International Biodiversity Hotspot Sri Lanka is home to fauna, flora and ecosystem diversity that is unique in the region. Sadly however, the accelerated pace of environmental degradation is ensuring rapid disappearance of our Biodiversity and fragile eco systems. Re/Evolution as a theme, aims to bring together creative practitioners and critical thinkers to interrogate their understanding of current ecological concerns and to reimagine, how creativity could inspire change and support environmental sustainability.
Now in its fifth edition, this year for the first time the festival is being organised by a local independent team. The Festival supports local and international artists to create engaging, daring work that connects with the world alongside the festival theme, hosted in ‘nontraditional’ venues. It aims to mobilise communities in Colombo for over a week-long period to engage and interact with thought provoking creative processes. In keeping with Cinnamon Colomboscope’s experimental and innovative trajectory, this year the festival will foreground the environment and its intersection with arts, culture and innovation.
From the UK
Ackroyd & Harvey’s work is multidisciplinary, intersecting sculpture, photography, film and architecture with time-based interventions that often reflect environmental and scientific concerns.
The medium of Ackroyd & Harvey’s photography is nature itself. In their pioneering work, thousands of blades of seedling grass provide a highly light-sensitive surface that the artists use to create a biochemical form of living photograph. When they grow a photograph they follow the same principles fundamental to the making of a photographic print: they use negative film and expose an image onto a growing wall or canvas of grass through projection. The resulting spectral images are formed by a concentration of chlorophyll that directly corresponds to the quantity of light available to it. Leaves of varied colors, ranging from a rich green to a pale yellow, combine to form tonal compositions of a subtly elusive kind.
For Cinnamon Colomboscope, Ackroyd & Harvey are adapting their process to work with local seeds, such as rice and millet. This is the first time they have used ‘paddy’ or ‘kurakkan’ and the artists regard the experimental nature of this work as intrinsic to their approach with working with living plant material. Overall, their approach to biological material as an artistic medium is shaped by their long-term concern with environmental degradation and socially engaged artistic practice. This will shape their ideas in response to observations and interactions made during their time spent in Sri Lanka.
Ackroyd & Harvey’s photographic work has received many awards, including the 2014 Royal Academy of Arts “Rose Award” and the Wu Guanzhong Prize for Innovation.
They will be showcasing their work from 02 to 07 September 2017 at Cinnamon Colomboscope 2017, former Colombo Terminus Railway Station, Maradana, Sri Lanka.