I: An Appreciation from Patrick Ranasinghe, 1 February 2022 …. Aubrey Collette 1920 -1992
Remember the cartoons of the mid to late 50’s and early 60’s. The issues he touched on are more relevant than ever now.
Cresside Collette grew up in Australia, far removed from the world of her father, Aubrey Collette, a renowned Ceylonese political cartoonist and artist, who was a founding member of the country’s ’43 Group. Forced to leave Ceylon in 1961 due to increasing hostility towards his political cartoons, Collette lived the rest of his life in Australia, where he died in 1992.
Despite an impressive career, the exile from Sri Lanka left Collette “heartbroken.” The talent, learned artistry and political voice of his cartoons captured a pivotal moment in the country’s early history — and nobody knows how much more he would have added to his legacy, if he didn’t have to leave when he did.
Artist In Exile: Aubrey Collette ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PohY45f37w
II: Ceylon Since Soulbury, by Aubrey Collette
‘Ceylon Since Soulbury’ is the first and only book of Aubrey Collette’s work to be published during his lifetime. The book covers a collection of his cartoons from 1945 to 1947. Though optimistically titled ‘Part 1’, the next volume never appeared. The cover illustration shows the ‘crowning’ of D.S. Senanayake (1883–1952), the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) by Lord Soulbury (1887–1971), who in his report commissioned by the British Government in 1944 laid the ground for Ceylon’s independence. On 4 February 1948, Ceylon was granted independence as the Dominion of Ceylon. Ceylon’s Dominion status within the British Commonwealth was retained for the next 24 years until 22 May 1972, when the country was renamed the Republic of Sri Lanka. Collette was a political cartoonist at the ‘Times of Ceylon’ in 1946, a post he held until the early 1960s when he was forced to leave Sri Lanka due to the political content of his work. He was one of the founding members of the ’43 Group—a group of modern mid-20th-century artists established in 1943—widely recognised as Sri Lanka’s first modernist art collective.
Aubrey with his wife and child ………………..