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Sri-Lankan art: out of the Gallery, onto the T-shirt.

The work of visual artist Chamindika is populated by characters who create the unsettling sense that they are spilling out from another world. Some of their faces are weary; others are filled with maniacal joy. They look too serious to be cartoon characters, too surreal to be human. Her characters are based on a mixture of personal experience, history and myth, and Audre Lorde's concept of biomythography. They fill Chamindika's drawings, posters and most recently her T-shirt designs. Whether on canvas or cotton, each character is striking.

Chamindika Wanduragala, who is Sri Lankan American, has had shows in Sri Lanka, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. Last year, she became more convinced than ever that art shouldn't be locked in galleries and museums. So, she's designing art for her own line of T-shirts, ensuring that her work could be, as she says, "a part of daily life for everyone, not just a luxury affordable to the rich."

When she's not busy with her own work, Chamindika creates stage designs and album covers and recently received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. She's also the co-founder of Diaspora Flow, an organization based in Minnesota that serves artists of color.
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Title Annotation:SPOTLIGHT: CHAMINDIKA; Chamindika Wanduragala
Author:Rehman, Bushra
Publication:Colorlines Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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