Saskia Fernando Gallery featured in | Feb 2013

At the forefront of Sri Lanka’s new wave of art and artists this is really the only dedicated, permanent gallery space in the city. It’s not attached to a cafe, they don’t run art classes- it’s a professional art gallery everyday of the week. Brought into existence by Saskia Fernando (daughter of Paradise Road‘s Shanth Fernando) it serves primarily as a show case for the work of emerging Sri Lankan artists- Mika Tennakoon, Prageeth Monahansa, though you’ll also find exhibitions from more established Sri Lankan painters and sculptors- Anoma Wijewardene and Jagath Weerasinghe for example. The incredibly compact and sleek gallery, is surprisingly versatile – installations, triptics, sculptures, improvised murals have all, at various points, been squeezed into a room in which you’d struggle to swing the proverbial cat.

Saskia or her collaborator Harshi Hewage are usually on hand to explain the work which is invariably beautifully displayed and thoughtfully labelled. Even if you’re a complete art novice it’s really worth dropping in for the detailed explanations and to be genuinely surprised by the quality and creativity of young local artists.

What we saw; When we walked in we caught the first solo exhibition by rising young star Mika Tennakoon- an installation consisting of half a dozen brightly and painstakingly illustrated suitcases suspended from the ceiling.

Prices; Though the work here is for sale, this is as much a display space and show case as it is a commercial gallery. It’s a space that very actively promotes its artists and one that encourages as broad a cross section of city dwellers to wonder in and acquaint themselves with what’s going on in the world of local art. At the bottom end you can pick up limited edition prints from Rs 2000 -3000 and original canvasses for as little as Rs 25 000. I suspect many of those who pass the gallery’s swish looking front don’t imagine that the work inside can really be so affordable though of course there are also plenty of more expensive pieces on their catalogues.

as featured by, written by Savan


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