Self-discovered liberation through art

Friday, 17 December 2021 01:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Priyantha Weerasuriya recently concluded his latest exhibition at the Harold Pieris Gallery.

Priyantha Weerasuriya has been painting the Bodhisattva (the life of Buddha before his enlightenment) on canvas and paper since 2006. In each rendition, he explores the subject using a different approach. Siddhartha, a man who grew up in luxury was destined to renounce all the comforts to pursue the supreme bliss of Nirvana, a compelling inner yearning of him. 

He was surrounded by any imaginable pleasures of life that his father could provide for him. Yet, his bright and inquisitive mind was aimed at transcending the conventional realities of lay life, to unearth the ultimate truth of human existence.

Priyantha’s paintings take us through the glimpses of this journey. In each of the paintings, Siddhartha is accompanied by pleasures of nature but the semblance of his disgruntled face depicts the prince’s struggle with his inner conscience. He takes the viewers on a journey to understand what Siddhartha was going through leading to a journey of self-discovered liberation. He wants to perhaps draw us into a consideration of how we look up to divinity rather than see that there is potential for that same greatness in ourselves.

These paintings were done during a time of uncertainty when the world was grappling with an unprecedented pandemic. The time compelled Priyantha to delve into the teachings of the Buddha – the impermanence, suffering and non-self. It exhumed his contemplation about the lay life of Buddha. A message that he intends to impart to the viewers that they themselves can reflect. 

Pix by Lasantha Kumara