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Lalith’s ‘Pussellawa on Canvas’ begins tomorrow

A doe-eyed damsel with flowers on her head, the ragged face of a tea-plucker, the symmetrical yet minimalist living conditions of the tea pluckers in the Pussellawa region, are some of the paintings done by Lalith Senanayake.

He will hold his next art exhibition titled ‘Pussellawa on Canvas’ commencing tomorrow and the paintings will be showcased for a month hence at the American Centre. The unveiling will take place on February 17 with James Monroe, Deputy American Ambassador as chief guest.

"Pussellawa is famed for its numerous tea plantations, verdant hills and cool climes, a laid back region situated between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. During the colonial era, many workers were brought from South India to assist the tea industry.

Pussellawa too became home to the community of tea pluckers who have established their way of life amidst the rollicking, albeit scenic hills and valleys, waterfalls and grassy plains.

Visitors to Pussellawa focus on the serendipity that surrounds the hilly station, but Lalith Senanayake has breathed life into the energetic folk of Pussellawa, focusing on their daily rituals, the facial expressions and features of people, various sentimental objects associated with the tea pluckers, their living quarters and much more.

Through his paintings, these often ignored facts will be preserved for posterity.

"Initially, Pussellawa provided the much needed hiatus from the stress of Colombo and I wanted to paint the breathtaking scenery but delving deeper into the region, brought me closer to the tea plucking community, which was appealing. Interwoven with beliefs and superstitions, these communities are indispensable to the existence of the tea industry. For a period of six months, I traveled to and fro, spending hours on painting individuals and the lifestyles of the people of Pussellawa. I used acryclic and oil medium in my paintings which has been portrayed in not-too bright colours," reveals Lalith about his theme.

"Subsequent to my exhibition held last year, I enrolled in a course conducted by the renowned sculpture artist/painter Dr. Sarathchandra Jeewa at the Colombo Art Academy. It continues to mould and further hone my talents and incorporate the invaluable lessons in my present paintings," said Lalith, adding that Dr. Sarathchandra Jeewa was a larger than life presence and his knowledge has been invaluable to his work.

"In addition, I am grateful to many others others such as S. P. Charles , Prabath Sahabandu and the staff of the American Centre for their support," added Lalith.

For further information with regard to "Pussellawa on Canvas," please contact;

The American Center
44, Galle Road,
Colombo 3,
Sri Lanka.

Tel: +94(11)249-8100
Fax: +94(11)244-9070
E-mail: amcentersl@state.gov

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www island.lk


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