Kudathanthrige wins big

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It is not very often that you come across a young girl who is interested in drawing and one who is ambitious enough to do whatever it takes to reach the top. Ceylon Today recently met one such girl and she is a Grade 9 student of the Colombo South International College (C.S.I.College), Kalubowila.

Despite being only 14 years old, Devlini Denthmi Kudathanthirige has grown a keen interest in drawing since her childhood days and over the years, has shown a great talent in drawing. Today, after having improved her skills gradually, she has come a long way and has won many prizes for her work. Her latest accomplishment is the achievement of round one of the Sketch for Survival Art Competition 2022, organised by the Explorers against Extinction.

Out of 3000 total entries from different countries around the globe, her art was selected to be included in the top 100 art works under the 13 to 16 category of the ‘Wildlife Arts’ category.

“I drew a Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), to the Sketch for Survival Art Competition. The Philippine Eagle is one of the largest species of birds of prey with a body length of 34 to 40 inches, wingspan of 2 metres and a weight of 5 to 8 kilograms. This eagle is one of the rarest birds in the world, and is categorised as a ‘critically endangered’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The species collectively includes a population of 350 to 650 birds throughout the country of Philippines,” says Kudathanthirige.  

From a young age (Grade 2) Kudathanthirige joined the Young Zoologists Association (YZA) of the National Zoological Gardens Dehiwela as a junior member. Her brother also joined the YZA at a young age and also has a talent for drawing. Throughout her journey as a member of the Junior YZA, she has enrolled to be a junior wildlife artist under the supervision of Instructor Junior Group of the YZA and Junior Art class instructor Shantha Jayaweera.

She uses watercolours, pencils, watercolour pencils, colour pencils, charcoal pencils and mechanical pens to do her drawings. She has also showcased her art at the KIN-WILD art and photography exhibition by the YZA and her arts can be seen in the Kadiya magazine which is published by the Junior YZA.

Throughout her art career she has gained a numerous achievements in arts and drawing of national and international levels. Some of her national achievements include achieving the first place at the Nutrica Art Contest by the Ministry of Education, the third place in Soba Sithru, a contest held by the Ceylon’s Lions Club, and merit certificate achievements at the Christmas Stamp Contest and the Sagara Soba Art Contest.

At an international level, she has obtained the Kanagawa prize at the Kanagawa Biennial World Children’s Art competition in Japan and the first place with an outstanding award at the Arts of Glory – Art and Poetry competition organised by the Indian Cultural Centre.

Her extra art curricular include digital arts (the use of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Ibis Paint X), portraits and Japanese comics (manga – which is considered to be one of Japans sub cultures) which she is self-taught. Kudathanthirige wishes to thank everybody that has been supportive to her that includes her father and mother who are both graphic designers and her elder brother, her school teachers, friends and especially Jayaweeera who have been supportive and an inspiration throughout her art journey.

By Risidra Mendis