It is not unusual for talented women to put their personal dreams on the backburner while they tend to their families and responsibilities at work. Fortunately for art lovers, Swendrini Gunasekara, who has been sketching and painting for as long as she can remember, has finally found the time and space to pursue her dream as an artist. The result is an amazing range of work revealing her obvious passion and skill for her craft. Her debut art exhibition aptly titled ‘A Million Dreams’, will be on display at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery on 28 and 29 September.
Swendrini obviously revels in the freedom she has found to expand her knowledge of various media, and explore new techniques. “It feels great to pick up my brushes and palette to express my creativity once again. I have been honing my skills under the tutelage of Rhuani Rambukwella for the past eight months, experimenting with a number of new techniques and developing my own style. I feel it is a great privilege to be able to do what I do. I’m so grateful for the loving support and encouragement of my family that makes it all possible,” Swendrini says. Swendrini’s work makes the viewer pause and observe details in nature and the human form, that often go unobserved, involved as we are in the hustle and bustle of life. Like parched earth that eagerly absorbs the rain, Swendrini enthusiastically embraces an array of themes and media. “I am a firm believer that there is immense beauty and wonder in everyday things that surround us, but we sometimes forget to see it as we are so caught up with the demands of modern life. The inspiration behind my portfolio are my everyday dreams, which I have captured in oils, acrylics, watercolour, charcoal, ink, and wax crayon. I am awed by so many things I see daily – a fiery sky at sunset, waves lapping on the beach, a serene temple against a clear blue sky, a freshly bloomed flower, a bird in flight, and of course the female form, which I think exudes beauty and grace. I have tried to capture the intricacies, colours and nuances of these things in my work,” she says.
Her hope as an artist is, that the viewers are able to experience that same sense of wonder that moves her.
The exhibition will also feature Swendrini’s nephew, 11-year-old Eyan Pereira. A student of St. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, he won his first gold medal for art at the tender age of six. His love of art has grown over the years, as has his love of wildlife, which is the inspiration for much of his work. He is a keen bird watcher and enjoys photographing and painting birds. He studies art with Royden O. Gibbs, and has developed his own unique style, which will be on display at the exhibition.
Take a pause from your daily routine. Come wander among Swendrini’s soothing landscapes. Be inspired. Dream.
A Million Dreams opens to the public on 28 and 29 September from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, 18, Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7.