24 Jan

About Sura Medura Artist Residency

Mary Genis Sura Medura blog image of wooden masks in Sri Lanka

I am off to Sura Medura in Sri Lanka for a six week international artist residency. This blog is about my creative adventure. First a bit of background about the project and my work as an artist.

The Sura Medura Residency

Sura Medura is an International Artist Residency Centre in Hikkaduwa, South West Sri Lanka. Established in 2011 it offers opportunities for Artists to develop & challenge their practice and create work that is enchanted by being developed in Sri Lanka. Resident artists are offered mentorship, coaching and opportunities to meet with their peers in the Sri Lankan Arts Community and develop projects with other international residents.

The residency offers artists the chance to produce and present a new piece of work, which responds to the environment of Sura Medura and Sri Lanka. Artists are encouraged to present their artistic practice at the beginning of their stay through our partnership with Colombo University of Visual and Performing Arts and to engage with the artistic community in Sri Lanka. At the end of their stay there will be an opportunity for artists to present the outcome of their residency, for example through exhibition, screening or performance at Sura Medura and in the UK.

My artistic practice

I am a visual and performance artist, a musician, writer,  designer and producer living and working in Reading Berkshire.   I am also the director founder of CultureMix Arts (CultureMix), a carnival arts linked learning company based at Reading College.

With my team I devise and deliver projects and activities that celebrate the arts drawing inspiration from different cultures.  I started out as a fashion and theatre costume designer and toured Europe as a freelance musician. I also paint, draw, sew, dance and sing, and I create and publish digital content including short films, e-flyers, CDs and booklets.

My practice is around performance, music, costume and visuals used to create cultural events that promote positivity.  As a dancer I took part in the London 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony .  As a steel pan musician I perform with my orchestra RASPO at places like Notting Hill Carnival, Womad festival and The Royal Albert Hall.

The Sura Medura residency will enable me to focus on my own practice as an independent artist.  I am interested in exploring traditional Sri Lankan mask making, batik and dance, integrating local natural materials.

Sura Medura

Mary Genis

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