Painting by girls at the Panadura home Art workshop by Clive, Nirosha and Neleisha By Neleisha Weerasinghe August 2011 This was my first visit to the girls at Panadura along with Nirosha, Iroshini and Clive. On top of that, there was the nervousness of never having done an Art workshop before. So I must admit though we were all energy and smiles we did have some butterflies swimming around. The day too started out a bit grey, but little did we expect to see so much colour later on. As we stood there carrying bags of supplies and food, worried yet eager, we are greeted by a chorus of “Ada shoke dawasak wei, Miloth genalla”, which in sinhalese meant “it’s going to be such a wonderful day, they’ve got us Milo” . We realised then that, the depth of expectations and eagerness these girls had, was perhaps far greater than what anyone of us imagined.
The girls made sure we felt quite welcome. As the girls themselves prepared the room and Clive began his first demonstration. It was wonderful watching these girls, how fascinated they were with the colour and work, and I believe it’s the first time they were observing a professional artist. Some even went to the extent of commenting on the art in English with encouraging words like: “Very beautiful”. I remember one very forward and talkative girl repeatedly commenting on the painting, and it was no surprise that Clive enjoyed this pretty much too .
Then came time for refreshments and the group work. The girls joined in with real enthusiasm which was very welcoming and it was amazing to see how each groups planned out their different art work. Some it seemed had real talent and was really careful to design and coordinate the colours. Some were so excited with the paints, crayons and felts that were given that they did not think twice about painting themselves as well.
The next activity which was a craft card done by Nirosha brought soo much fun to the group. It was so encouraging for us as well, as they asked for more material to work on more craft cards. In the end the girls wanted us to come again. And even brought little autograph booklets for us to write a few words on, which I felt was very sweet and very touching.
One might hardly imagine that within this group there could be some real enthusiastic artists. But we witnessed how some girls really wanted to do their own art work. Their love for colour shined in their eyes and was displayed through some of the work they created themselves. So my guess is we’ll definitely be going there again soon.
I loved that Sunday. It was a collection of colour, fun, lots of action and most importantly plenty of smiles spent in great company.
Ps. Clive Jachnik – is the DDR Programme Manager at IOM International Organisation for Migration, who wholeheartedly volunteered for art workshop with art supplies as well.
Below are two more of the paintings the girls created…