(b.1960   Sri Lanka)

Shehan Madawela is self taught and has painted professionally for over 20 years. In 1994, he received the prestigious Artist of the Year, George Keyt Foundation Award.

H.A. Anil Kumar, art historian and critic, observed in an early review:

“…More than anything, the style in which Shehan has painted … is so transparent that an audience can re-enact Shehan’s creative act, again and again… This has become possible just because Shehan stands on a groundless base… and hence experiences constantly, the ever-changing visions of the world around him.”

Stylistically, the depiction of suspension is a common thread in his work. In early works, Madawela focused on human figures, faces, traditional mythology and history. The tantric images and style were evocative of Sri Lankan and Indian cave paintings.

In his Rice Series, he grappled with rural dilemmas, depicting the ubiquitous grain of rice - a symbol of necessity. He often painted the rice grain in gold and silver tones suspended over a bowl – indicating urban economic value. The works reminded us that we should catch good fortune without wasting as well as the commodity values of rural production. He now looks to the future, addressing broader themes and concerns of excess.

His works are collected internationally. He exhibits regularly in Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka. Madawela's works were exhibited through SGFA during New York's Asia Week 2006 and at the Nehru Centre, London in February 2005.  

Significant Collections

George Keyt Foundation, SL;   Sapumal Foundation, SL;    Ministry of Telecommunications, SL;   The Anthropological Survey, India and numerous private international collections.

Major Literature

Artists in Mysore, by Naramani Somanath 2006

Island of Aesthetics,  Asian Art Newspaper Nov. 2006

Sri Lankan Contemporary Art,  Finance Asia (HK) 2004

Tel +603 7960 4740