Tuesday, June 09, 2009


The Wild, the Free, the Beautiful by Nihal Fernando

“In this tormented 20th century, artists and professionals have a choice. They can concentrate on improving the quality of their own lives, using their skills and tools in respected isolation. Our photographers have in recent years been taking their place and winning renown abroad as well, but apart from a very, very few, they have not given their art direct social relevance. Commercialism is their democratic right, but the rest of us suffer by their indifference.
“It is thus important to hail this publication. Pictures reach people more effectively than words. And where the impact of moving pictures is transitory, the pictures in a book lures people back again and again. This is Nihal’s greatest gift, the mastery of technique so that his pictures make you more aware of your responsibilities to society, and make you go back to them for deeper contemplation as a stimulus for action.”
- Adapted from Foreword by B.J.B. Fernando

Produced & Published by Studio Times Ltd in 1986
Out of Print

"The Wild, The Free, The Beautiful contains arguably the best collection of photographs that have ever been put out on Sri Lanka. This is a soul song of a man in love with light, his country and truth. Fernando does not manipulate his subjects or use special effects but simply makes you SEE when earlier you may only have looked.
"I am not ashamed to confess that as I neared the end of this wondrous and almost magical sojourn into his world, my eyes were brimful with tears - for a wild and free and beautiful country that is disintegrating before our very eyes today simply for the lack of sensitive beings such as him."
- Malathi de Alwis, The Sunday Island, 14 December 1986

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