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Sunday, 10 February 2013





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Government Gazette

Ariyawansa Kumarasinghe:

Rich colours - fresh dimensions to nature

Born to a family of physicians, he saw the first light of the world on March 10, 1957. He is the son of the village ayurvedic physician. His father's dream was to see his son becoming an ayurvedic physician. But ayurveda proved a bitter pill to Ariyawansa Kumarasinghe which he refused to swallow.

Yatiyane was a village spotted with little ponds, and a luxuriant growth of tropical foliage turning the hills into an undulating blanket of greenery, stretched away to a host of white clouds. The surroundings and the villagers with their simple lifestyle enriched Ariyawansa's artistic creativity. He showed an artistic inclination early in life. As a little boy he scribbled images of birds, animals and human figures on the walls of his home with charcoal or chalk, and on paper. While in school he impressed his teachers with his creativity. He completed his schooling at Nalanda Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Minuwangoda.

Ariyawansa Kumarasinghe

Dutugemunu versus Elara

As Ariyawansa grew older his father had to decide about his son's career. For some time he was divided between the professions of painter and ayurvedic doctor. The first might give the boy satisfaction, but the second would provide him with a decent living. The boy, on being consulted about his career, replied he would rather be a good painter than a rich doctor. As a young boy he didn't have the opportunity to follow a course in academic art.

He is a self-made artist. His natural gift for art through sheer perseverance proved his ability to arouse the enthusiasm of the public at the young age of 15, displaying his colourful creations on Vesak pandals during the festive season. At the age of nineteen Aryawansa joined the Sri Lanka Industries company as chief artist in 1979. From then onwards he didn't look back, but worked in a number of leading private firms to start him off on the road to financial security.

From time to time, Ariyawansa painted. His subjects were derived from religious classics, or great historical events. His name spread far and wide as a historical painter. He turned out historical battle scenes on oil on canvas, such as the famous ‘battle of Mulleriyawa’, the Portuguese destroying the Fort in Jaffna, and the arrival of Prince Vijaya.

A huge oil painting titled ‘Elara-Dutugamunu adorned the walls of the Fort Hammen Hill the Navy headquarters at Kankasanthurai. He uses moderate colour combinations in mixing his orange with green. The integration of colour line and form is vibrant and powerful in his paintings. Ariyawansa was fortunate to receive guidance for a short while under two eminent artists, Kalasoori G.S. Fernando and Kalabushana Susil Premaratne, on the basic techniques of water-colour painting, who encouraged him to turnout brilliant water colour paintings.

His work has a wide variety of designs. His outstanding talents as a painter was due to his dedication. He brings out the richness and the beauty of landscapes in rich flashy colours. His remarkable power of observation enabled him to copy what he saw faithfully, rivers, valleys mountains, forests, and lakes. Every fold on the ground is brought out in clearest detail, down to the last line. His colour schemes have a memorable individuality. His work depicts fresh dimensions to nature, and shows a distinctiveness in both composition and the use of colour.

Ariyawansa has a set of foreign buyers and exhibits his paintings in the personal art galleries of some collectors and art lovers.


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