CoCA - Collective of Contemporary Artists
Initiated in 2011, CoCA is the first pioneering art organization in Sri Lanka which focus on Ecology base socially-engaged, sustainable art forms and practices connected with Mind, Society and Environment. CoCA engage in research-based art, encouraging exploration and experimentation and encourage diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate and appreciate arts.
CoCA, is an artists' led art organization in Sri Lanka, networking with local and international artists, art organizations and institutions connected with art. CoCA, collaborate with artists environmentalists, inventors, social scientists, local farmers, auredhic Doctors and software developers to build creative activists and more effective, sustainable, dynamic art forms and practices to address contemporary geo-political, cultural, ecological issues.
CoCA , through public participatory interactive Art work challenges the existing methodologies, and ideology in art making in contemporary art field in Sri Lanka. For CoCA artists, art work to come to live interaction between the art work and the audience is vital, which shift the focus of the viewer to the producer of the Art work. At this point Making art becomes a process rather than an object and art is no more a noun it’s a verb.
CoCA has Its own Studio, Residency, experimental Gallery space, educational and Community Center located in Colombo Sri Lanka design by the CoCA artists. By using artists own funds, the main structures are constructed mostly using reclaim and discarded materials. The CoCA artists Poornima Jayasinghe and Chinthaka Thenuwara convert broken, discarded, dysfunctional objects into functional art objects and exhibit at CoCA space. Using natural farming techniques artists grow their own vegetables and fruits and today CoCA space has over 100 Ayredhic plants. As an on going art project CoCA artists are recording the narratives behind these objects and plants through visual forms.
Through solution focused community outreach projects such as 'Api – I Am Because We Are' CoCA, developed an art and Nature base education program to support the educational needs of the under privilege children. Today CoCA , expanded its activities by developing a creative play garden at CoCA space. The interactive play-garden emphasize on holistic education, life experiences and learning beyond the confines of the classroom and the formal educational environment. This ongoing project provide a platform for children to learn subjects such as Maths, Science, Languages, History, Geography etc as integration of subjects, while engaging with art based activities and physical activities such as growing organic food for a nutritious diet. The project is designed to focus and develop the personal growth in multi- cultural communities by supporting each other and to promote the interconnection between nature, culture and society as sources of knowledge, meanings, values and identity for sustainable development of diverse communities through creative activities.
We, the CoCA, are open to network with various organizations and individuals who are interested in engaging with this process, in the spirit of mutual exchange of skills and resources.