The Barnhouse – nurturing creativity | Sunday Observer

The Barnhouse – nurturing creativity

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.– Gail Sheehy

The Barnhouse Studio located in Kiriberiya, Panadura in a four acre rubber plantation is an ideal place for those who love nature and for those who wish to nurture creative skills. Apart from the Barnhouse having banquet space, honeymoon chalets and wedding decor, it also conducts programs such as ‘Cinematic Art,’ ‘Art of photography’ and ‘Thinking Hand; School of Arts and Crafts.’

It is also a design gallery and store, and a creative library of concepts and ideas that offers facilities needed to host fashion shows, beauty pageants, commercials and TV shows. The structure itself is based around the idea of an old English barnhouse with each element found on the premises architecturally crafted in synchronisation with the theme.

Walking into the Barnhouse was a unique experience as it recalled the novels I have read and the TV series that I have watched based on the Neolithic village located in Antaness, Orkney, Scotland.

We were welcomed with a lovely Barn performance - dance and song by the management and staff of the Barnhouse. The evening was a special wine and dine experience with entertainment by the Marians.

Managing Director and co-founder, Kushantha Hewapathirana spoke of the primary concept behind the studio and gave us an insight into the thought process behind the architecture.“The Barnhouse Studio was conceived as one complex - a holistic location, architecturally articulated in demonstrating and authenticating a way of life, where we adapt to nature rather than changing it,” he explained.

The concept was conceived in the mind of its designer Ajith Mohan Perera. “It was his ideologies about art, crafts, architecture, people and community which led to the studio we see today,” Hewapathirana said.

The process of designing and the construction of the studio itself was a special one. According to Kushantha, the construction process involved the local community. This in turn enhanced the craftsmanship involved within the process, while adding value to the entire concept, “in terms of the social and cultural aspects of architecture.”

The Barnhouse is focused on “the essential nurturing of creativity.” This, according to Hewapathirana is aimed at “reviving and revitalising the arts, crafts and architecture of the island,” and is its primary goal. “We are striving to bring back creativity to the concept of a ‘wedding’ and restore the cultural and emotional values behind it,” Hewapathirana told us, adding that one could describe it as sort of a “Renaissance.”

‘Weddings-by the Barn’, one of the services offered, are choreographed by the creative team of the Barnhouse. Throughout the whole process, they have but one thought in mind and that is the spiritual union of a wedding. Aside from this they also offer ‘the Banquet – by the Barn’. This according to Hewapathirana, is the “Protagonist of the Barnhouse Studio and could comfortably accommodate a maximum of 300 guests.

Hewapathirana explained that photography is essentially an art and the Barnhouse strongly believes that the equipment they own would be powerless without the creativeness of the human mind. It is in this light that they offer ‘Cinematic Artistry’ which is the creative wing of the studio. Its aim is to take you “through a journey of creative composition and choreography of still and motion pictures.” Kushantha Hewapathirana and Dhanushka Hewapathirana - the in house photographers, will guide learners along this process.

The creative team of the Barnhouse Studio also offers help in creative concept formulation, which includes designing, composing and customising. “The ‘Space – by the Barn’, set up for this purpose, offers various themes that would suit the theme of your event, occasion or photo-shoot.

The Barnhouse also offers a concept called ‘Chalets - by the Barn’. This includes intricate wooden structures fixated amid the natural terrain of a rubber estate. The chalets have been specially designed for newlyweds with the intention of functioning as a honeymoon location.

Aside from being just a pretty location, based around a creative concept, the Barnhouse takes it a step further, through its effective recycling and charity endeavours. The launch of the ‘Share’ program is one of its finest projects in this regard. This in essence, extends an opportunity to its customers, to make the final call on the excess food from weddings or events. “We offer a range of options, starting from sharing the food with the village temple monks, to a children’s orphanage in the locality,” Kushantha explained.

In keeping with its thinking of nurturing creativity, the studio also attempts to revive and revitalise the traditional arts and crafts of the island. This is done through their Thinking Hand – School of Arts and Crafts, based around the concept ‘Learning by making’.

Overall the Barnhouse offers a unique, creative experience to persons looking for the ideal venue for a wedding or a function. And, if you are looking for a picturesque location for a photoshoot, this is the ideal place. If you need a calm place to sit and paint, write or compose a song or a poem or to spend your vacation with loved ones, this is the place to go to.

The Barnhouse Studio is located at No. 155/9, 2nd Lane, Galpotta Road, Kiriberiya, Panadura.

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Pix: Vipula Amarasinghe