With the objective of taking SriLankan Airlines closer to the Island's heartbeat, the National Carrier, for the first time, steered a countrywide creativity inspiring endeavour to foster the artistic talents of school children, art enthusiasts and professional artists. ‘Speculo 2017', a large-scale art competition with a three-day exhibition, invited the country's artists to creatively recreate their perspective on SriLankan Airlines.
Held under the School, Open and Professional categories, the theme of the Speculo 2017 competition was "My SriLankan Perspective." Out of the nearly 1,000 entries submitted, crossing many provincial and district borders, over 300 creations were selected and displayed at the Visual Art Faculty's J D A Perera Gallery during a three-day exhibition.
These paintings reflected the artistic sentiments on the passenger journey, and the Airline's contribution to the growth of country's tourism. Created using various mediums such as oil on canvas, pastel, charcoal and pencil, they captured various facets of the Airline's services and the aesthetic beauty of its peacock emblem whose historic and fabled inferences were also subjects of contestant portrayals.
At the award ceremony, ten artists from the School and Open categories and 15 shortlisted Professional Artists were felicitated with awards, trophies, prizes and certificates.
School Category winners were Gayashani Dissanayake (Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Colombo 7); W A Kaveesha K Weerasinghe (Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo 8) and N A Omal Selika Arachchige (D S Senanayake College, Colombo 8). In the Open Category, the top three places were awarded to Thilak Pushpakumara; S A Eranga Srimal and Chamara Prasad Deeyamulla respectively. The top three prizes in the Professional Category were bagged by Shanaka Kulathunga; Basil Cooray and Ishan Senaka Hewage respectively. The most senior artist in Sri Lanka, Dr H A Karunaratne, who is also known as "The Father of Sri Lankan Abstract Art" was falicitated with a special award of appreciation.
Budding young artists from schools across the Island including from Jaffna, Mannar, Bibile and also Balangoda sent in their creations for the competition, as did professors from higher education institutions, art teachers and the clergy.
The art competition featured over 80 professional artists, which was by far the most amount of professional Sri Lankan artists, who have show-cased their work together at a single exhibition.
This was also the first time in the history of SriLankan art exhibitions that prison inmates submitted their creative contributions for a national art exhibition. From their submissions, nine paintings that were shortlisted were displayed at the Speculo 2017 exhibition.
This Island-wide art competition was organised with the intent of inspiring the country's visual artists to creatively elaborate their perspective of SriLankan Airlines, thereby also encouraging them to showcase their talents at a national platform. At a time when reconciliation through cultural dialogue is quite constantly discussed, the National Carrier takes pride in bringing together hundreds of artists who are spread across the country for one common artistic purpose, thus being a unifying force.