Bringing to light a love for the deep unknown
By Tahnee Hopman

Sometimes, the simplest of situations can inspire. For young Nishamani Jinadasa, it was one movie- The Great Barrier Reef. Nisha, as she is sometimes called, spends as much time as she can underwater, pursuing her childhood love for the depths of the ocean. “The beauty and the mystery of underwater scenery always fascinated me. But watching The Great Barrier Reef helped me come to realize that this was what I wanted to do,” she said.

Having swum before she had learnt to walk, Nisha in 1995 obtained her licence to dive in Australia, receiving recognition in photography competitions held in Sipadan Island- Malaysia and Antibes in France. She has also exhibited her work thrice in Sri Lanka.

Over 300 of her vibrant photos of shoals of fish, corals and other underwater wonders are now on display at the National Art Gallery from June 13-15 from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. in the East and West Halls. Colours Beneath the Sea, while being an exhibition of a somewhat rare art form in the Sri Lankan context, is an exhibition with a difference.

For Nisha, “conservation of the underwater world is not given as much emphasis as it should be, because people don’t see what has to be seen as often as they would something on the surface. Most people have absolutely no idea how much some of our coral reefs have been destroyed over the past few decades.” Entrance is free.

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