Sumi Perera UK/Sri Lanka


Sumi writes:


This series of bookmarks are extension from the print TRANSCRIPTION, TRANSLITERATION & TRANSLATION, designed for Absence & Presence.

It laments the bombing of booksellers of Al Mutanabbi Street in Iraq in 2007 and reflects on a similar atrocity of biblioclasm that took place in Sri Lanka when the Jaffna Library was burnt down in 1981 during the civil war.

The words ‘Al Mutannabi Starts Here’ was written in Sinhalese, my native script in my own handwriting in many different sizes and directions to create an open-bite acid etching.  The deeply bitten lettering left un-inked (absence) is embossed in white and becomes a positive mark (presence), against the inked unbitten negative areas of the plate. 

An interview with Sumi can be read here.

Click on any image to see it full size.

As an interdisciplinary art practitioner, for me, the allure of  printmaking lies in the potential that the process offers in enabling me to use different methods and materials to generate multiple permutations from a given set of substrates. Perhaps working as a doctor and scientist, pushes me into considering the endless possibilities of combining different techniques to arrive at a ‘finished’ product or result.  I like to re-sequence the plates, change the alignment, and even use the back of the plates to make new variations. In some instances plates from different projects have been combined to produce new hybrid works. In retrospect, some of the projects that appear to have parallel pathways, have had a similar trajectory and the convergence becomes a natural organic process.

  • from the Printmakers’ Council website.