Kalapathi Vasantha Rathnayake :
Beauty of nature enriches his creations
An academic painter who is able to express himself well, with a
complete understanding of its possibilities and limitations is a very
rare person and a fortunate one. Such a painter is Kalapathi Vasantha
Rathnayake. He hails from Maho in the district of Kurunegala. Vasantha
was born in the village of Maho on January 9, 1974. As a boy he grew up
in the typical surroundings of a Sri Lankan village. The beauty of
nature and the villagers in their simple lifestyle enriched Vasantha’s
artistic creativity. He received his early education at Vijayaba
National College where he was encouraged by his art teacher to
participate in group art exhibitions in school.
After completing his A at the Ballalla Maha Vidyalaya he joined the
University of Performing and Visual Arts, Colombo and obtained his
B.F.A. Degree special in 2001. In the university he had the privilege of
studying under reputed painters such as D.W. Somaratne and Prof. Sarath
Chandrajeeva who helped him to turn out creative paintings and
sculpture. In 2009 Vasantha obtained his postgraduate diploma in
education at the Open University Colombo.
One of his sculptures
He has worked as an Art
Director at the Sirasa T.V. Sithampana program and as a make-up artist
in Sirasa TV for two years. He designed Sri Lankan stalls for several
international exhibitions, at the world tourism exhibition in Germany
2003, in China in 2004 and participated in the World Tourism Exhibition
in France in 2007 organised by the Tourist Board of Sri Lanka.
Vasantha’s fingers are fashioned for the creation of beauty. The lyrical
quality of his sculpture is evident in his creations.
In Sri Lanka his creations are seen outside the Sri Lanka Telecom
Office, ‘Receiver with hand’, the Rev. Gangodawila Soma Thera at the
Maharagama Buddhist Vihara, and other distinguished personalties in the
country. His creations also include waterfalls and landscaping. Every
tree, flower and tuft of grass are brought out with precision that shows
Vasantha’s sensitiveness to nature. His outstanding asset as a painter
is his dedication to his work. The variety of media in which he works is
oil and acrylic in projecting his vision using various techniques and
He turns the dark moody browns, yellow and ultra marine blues in his
own imagination. A perfect blending of colours baffles art lovers. He
artistically records village life, the sufferings of humanity and
realistic scenes of everyday life. It is as though he saw the people and
places of his pictures completely in his mind’s eye, with such sharp,
final definition, that all he required was to transfer them, without
modification and without embellishment, to his canvas. Not only
landscape paintings, he also painted fine portraits and made a series of
portrait drawings of remarkable beauty. A member of the Ceylon Society
of Arts, Vasantha served as an art instructor at the Ceylon Society of
Arts in sculpture and painting for three years. He has also held the
post of Education Secretary in the Society.
For his longstanding service he was awarded ‘Kalapathi’ by the Ceylon
Society of Arts, Colombo.
To impart his knowledge and skill to the younger generation he now
teaches at the Arawwala Vidyaloka and Sunandopananda Vidyalaya.