You could say that Shehan de Alwis’ exhibition, “heaven’s under water” has been 10 years in the making. Consisting of nearly 60 paintings and assorted sculptures, the exhibition is in part inspired by a musical that Shehan wrote nearly a decade ago. Called Eurythmicsea, the plot revolved around a forbidden love affair between a merman and an angel. Prolific to say the least, Shehan penned over 70 songs during the same period.
When he felt that he could take it no further, Shehan abandoned the project.
He had also temporarily abandoned drawing and only returned to it earlier this year, when, in an intense burst of activity he completed a majority of the canvases. He would work on multiple paintings simultaneously, an approach he says he borrowed from watching hopper chefs at work.
While “heaven’s under water” is the most prominent of the exhibition’s themes, Shehan adds that some of the pieces are based on others as well, namely: “the chain of smokers,” “roots” and “life in Andromeda,” along with assorted miscellaneous pieces.
Today an art director at a small advertising agency, Shehan says he is yet to perceive himself as a bona fide artist, instead he would rather label himself a thinker. “I feel in truth we are all artists in our own separate ways. We create art on a daily basis but are quite unaware of it.”
His exhibition will be on at the Lionel Wendt Gallery from October 23- 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.