It is Essential to be There

House in Mirissa: Site Plan, drawing by Waruna Gomis, 1997

The architectural drawing as an abstract, coded set of intstructions describing how a three-dimensional form might be constructed in a two-dimensional medium, played a key role in the establishment of the profession of architecture. Buildings of course, do not necessarily need drawings or architects to be built. Geoffrey Bawa’s long career of over 40 years reflects a practice that began with an innate ability to craft the experience of space. Drawings were often made after the fact, the buildings were designed in-situ. But architecture is always inextricably intertwined with its time and place; as Ceylon becomes Sri Lanka, and as the forces of capitalism and nation-building impressed their inflections on the island, Bawa’s architecture adapts to an increasingly professionalized form of architecture. This exhibition explores this story as evidenced by the drawings in the Geoffrey Bawa Archives; the story of an architect, a discipline and a country.

This exhibition proposes an examination of the drawings in the Bawa Archive, with the hopes of looking closer at the practice itself and many of the unique features that characterized it. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue publication including essays by Sean Anderson, Shirley Surya, Tariq Jazeel, Jyoti Dhar, Shayari de Silva and a foreward by Channa Daswatte

25 June – 25 September 2020

Venue: To be confirmed