Media man takes up the brush

By Dhananjani Silva

Back in 1968, Peliyagoda Dayananda was almost a household name. His contributions to leading local newspapers and magazines such as Sun, Dawasa, Riviresa, Weekend, Chic, Honey, Sri and Iranama in terms of cartoons, caricatures and other types of illustrations made him a well known name in the media field.

Now retired, Peliyagoda Dayananda is getting ready to embark on a different kind of a voyage – as a painter. His maiden exhibition titled ‘Pe-Daya’ to be held on March 4, 5 and 6 at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery will be an unusual experience for local art lovers, says Dayananda explaining that it will be a mix of everything. “I will be presenting paintings of different styles from traditional to modern and abstract art so as to suit every one’s taste.

These are drawings based on themes such as Buddhism, culture, human figures, music, nature etc. As a lead-up to the display of paintings, the artwork and illustrations I have contributed for newspapers and magazines throughout my career will also be shown,” he says. The event will showcase about 50 paintings done with oil on canvas, acrylic, water colours, poster colours and pastels. Air brush drawings and computer illustrations will be featured, says this veteran artist who is also famous for single line drawings.

Dayananda’s artistic inclinations started during childhood when he and his younger brother would get together to decorate his home with a thorana (pandal) for Vesak.

“I did all the paintings for it while my brother handled the lighting part,” he recalls. Working at the Dawasa newspaper the opportunity arose to do an artwork for a short story published in the Sri magazine. “This helped me tap my hidden talent for illustrations and after this I continued to work as a lay out artist,” he says.

His wife and children encouraged him to hold the exhibition, he says. “It’s been about five years since I retired as the editor of the Bindu newspaper. I have the time to organise an exhibition now,” Dayananda says adding that he is looking forward to the feed back he would receive for his paintings from art fans.

The exhibition will be declared open on March 4 at 5.30 p.m. with a gathering of distinguished guests; Chief of Staff to the President Gamini Senerath, US Ambassador Patricia Butenis, Bank of Ceylon Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe, Director General of Information Ariyaratne Athugala and editors of media institutions among others.

The exhibition is open to the public free of charge. See also

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