Search for security amidst the disorder
In an insecure, unstable and disorderly world people are constantly looking for love, security and protection and there’s a grudging need to return to where it all began: the mother’s womb. This is the idea explored by Prageeth Rathnayake through his paintings being exhibited at Paradise Road Galleries from September 14 to 26.
Titled “The Nature”, the exhibition presents a series of paintings in which the artist portrays nature in a different light. For Prageeth, nature is symbolic of many states such as primitive man, state of disorder and beginning of life. Through these particular paintings he depicts the mother as a focal point of nature. In fact, he says, Mother IS nature.
By placing a female figure (mother) amidst nature’s objects such as trees, moon and mountains, Prageeth draws many similarities between the two. The red patches which constantly appear in his paintings symbolize the mother’s womb, the beginning of life and a place of safety.
Prageeth loves white and this is yet another unique aspect of his paintings which feature a mainly white background.
Prageeth regards ‘white’ as a difficult colour to deal with, a colour which carries much significance. He draws his inspirations from works such as George Segal’s White Sculptures and Kasimir Malevich’s White on White.
Currently in his final year at the Faculty of Visual & Performing Arts, Colombo and also working as a set designer at Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Prageeth hopes to continue his studies and develop his skills. He has won several awards and has participated in several group exhibitions including the George Keyt Foundation’s Nawa Kala Karuwo in 2007.
In 2006 he held his first solo exhibition titled ‘The Text’ and with this, his second solo show, he looks to be establishing his presence in Colombo’s art scene.