By Priyanwada Ranawaka
Mirror, mirror, on the wall Who is the fairest of them all?
Anyone familiar with the tale of Snow White would remember the talking mirror that would pick the most beautiful person on earth. The mirrors painted by Nanditha Gamage would have you saying that they are the most beautiful mirrors you have set your eyes on.

Her own style. Her own choice of designs. "This is something I created on my own," smiles Nanditha who is now ready to hold an exhibition of mirrors called 'Mirror Mirror…'.

Her designs vary from flowers and plants to aquatic creatures. The striking colours, Nanditha's hallmark, give her mirrors a breathtaking effect.

"I have seen creations made of painted pieces of mirror and thought I would improvise a bit and design a painted mirror instead," says she explaining how she first experimented with painting on one of her own mirrors at home. Nanditha draws the design on the surface of the mirror with Indian glass paint and another special paint she gets down from France.

She says that each mirror takes more than a week to complete. She has to wait till one coat of paint completely dries to start with the next. "If something goes wrong, I have to redo the whole design from step one." But hard work never puts her off, given the satisfaction she has at the end. "It's a long process, but I feel happy going through it."

Although ‘Mirror Mirror…’ is her first solo exhibition, Nanditha is no new face at expositions of art. She has been participating in the Kala Pola for the last three years where she came to be well known among art enthusiasts. "All my work is sold out every year and I've even had a few orders," she says.

"These mirrors look good almost anywhere," she says, adding that she is also in the process of designing mirrors and other accessories to go along with an existing design. For instance, if the mirror is to be hung in a bathroom she may pick the design on the shower curtain or on the wall tiles and use it to decorate the mirror and a few other accessories in the bathroom.

It is not only the mirrors that are adorned by her skillful hands. She could light up even a casual looking t-shirt, tablecloth or a cushion cover with a few paint strokes. Some of these items are currently available at the boutique at the Lighthouse Hotel.

Nanditha completed her primary, secondary and university education in New Delhi. While in school she tried her hand at painting and won the silver medal for the inter-school art competition in the North Indian region.

"Now I have free time and have taken up my hobby seriously," she says, adding that since her children are schooling, she can sit down and devote time to her hobby.

Her exhibition will be held on June 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt Gallery. It will highlight about 25 mirrors and some of her oil and watercolour paintings as well.

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