Renuka Dias: Presenting a novel situation with a difference | Sunday Observer

Renuka Dias: Presenting a novel situation with a difference

4 December, 2016

Achala Gunawardane finds spiritual satisfaction while doing and after finishing a painting. She is happy about having a fan base that has been attracted to her paintings. The recognition received through attending international art exhibitions also motivates her. For Achala, painting or art is the meaningful utilisation of a limited flat space with colours, lines and shapes. It is also about presenting a novel situation with a difference as a feeling or an idea generated in the artist’s mind.

Her parents encouraged her to paint since childhood. She says, “My mother and father gave the maximum freedom in my childhood for me to enjoy the beauty of nature. They always appreciated my talent and set the appropriate background for me to practice art. They gave me the opportunity to enjoy Russian children’s books, Chinese picture magazines etc in my childhood. In my school days, the principal of my school, Menik Balasuriya, my teachers Ajith P Bandara, Premadasa Peththawadu Jayawardhana and Ven. Hanguranketha Thera in particular helped and guided me. During my higher studies, Teachers of Aesthetic University and after marriage, my partner Sudath Abeysekara also helped me immensely.

Achala prefers to draw landscapes because even though a landscape is a common experience to everyone, a landscape painting can present things that would never be retained in the minds of many in an interesting manner. Her favourite medium is Acrylic because it offers the convenience of using bigger brushes and the ability to use water and the opportunity to work faster. She describes her technique, “I do paintings on canvas using the acrylic colour medium and various tools (brushes, roller brushes, flat knives, sponge etc.) Especially when doing a painting I never try to paint permanent objects in the territory and try to create the depth and new shapes of various levels using colour patches and lines. Shapes that could be imagined by the viewer are created through a large number of colours used in this process.”

She attended Wickramasheela National School, Giriulla and University of Aesthetic Studies, Colombo. She has participated in international art exhibitions such as the China Beijing Biennale 2010, Korean International Art Exhibition 2012 & 2013, Insights of China Workshop and Exhibition, China 2016. She currently teaches art at the Samudra Devi Girls’College, Nugegoda. Her favourite hobbies are visiting beautiful sites both in Sri Lanka and abroad.

(Pictures provided by the artist)