Last year proved to be yet another year of new entries and returnees to the local contemporary scene. Featured herein are five artists who have presented outstanding shows in 2013 or have begun to stand out as ones to watch as young up and rising contemporaries.
After completing his Masters and Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India, Nuwan Nalaka has returned with his most contemporary series of work to date. Better known previously for his skillful watercolour work on paper, his Paradise Road Galleries show set to take place in January 2014 features mixed media paintings on paper. The theme of his new series of work depicts the combination of culture, the spiritual significance of both India and Sri Lanka, as well as intricate descriptions of the artists own writing.
Udagedara returned briefly to Sri Lanka this year to lecture at a conference organized by the University of Kelaniya. In addition the artist himself curated an exhibition titled ‘Beauty and Agony’ of Sri Lankan art in Leeds, UK. This month Udagedara completed his Phd at the Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom and staged two solo shows, one in Leeds and the other in Portugal.
Currently the youngest artist represented by the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Medhanka presented one of the most sought-after series of work of 2013. His portraits of Sri Lanka people from the north and south, titled Northern Dream, proved an incredible talent in this self-taught young artist.
Pathmal Yahampath has yet to stage his own solo show, however his large figurative sculpture have begun to make a mark on the local sculpture scene. After staging a two man show with artist Chathurika Jayani at the Lionel Wendt, one of his works is now a permanent feature at The Gallery Café.
Gayan Prageeth staged his much-awaited solo exhibition at Paradise Road Galleries in November. His exhibition featured a series of surreal portraits, landscapes and politically conceptual work. Each work connected to the other through the often darkly conceptual themes that torment the more delicate technique in which they are painted by Prageeth. The red in the imagery signified passion and sexuality and the blue, a calm serenity that the artist seems to long for. This was undoubtedly one of the strongest exhibitions of 2013.