Photo from the Project Inside out by JR

Since 2000, I have painted on Cheetha, a traditional Sri Lankan printed textile. This fabric carries a disappearing part of the Sri Lankan culture.  It can be seen only in few villages or among the older generation because of the phenomenon of western fashion trends and mass made clothes from China. While the majority of the Sri Lankan population considers it low class and kitschy to wear clothing made from Cheetha, this material is highly nostalgic for me – it carries my childhood and the weightlessness of life as a kid.  

Cheetha’s colorful flower patterns make for challenging painting surface.  I see different figures on top of the busy colorful background, sometimes in between and sometimes underneath all those layers.  The solid colors take the viewers through my painting to see what’s hidden beneath the textile.  The imagery I choose always depends on the texture of the fabric.  

I paint mainly things that cannot be seen by the naked eye – memories, dreams, the unconscious mind and the voices of the inner heart. I attempt to give strength to the viewer’s imagination by depicting powerful icons and heroic figures.  My subject matter is influenced by my desire to heal broken or incomplete things that were once useful.   Eg: The golden heart painting - I use the thermal blanket material that normally use to protect body from cold and heat. In my imagination it gives an extra protection to the heart to be protected. I make my work out of a need to empower myself and others to feel happiness, love and strength. 

Deneth Piumakshi Wedaarachchige, born in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka in 1980. Currently live and work in Paris, France.

Education & Residencies
2013 July – 2014 October - Cité Internationale des arts, Paris, France 
2012 July – 2013 Jan – Cité Internationale des arts, Paris, France  
2002 - Art Foundation Programme, New York School of Visual Arts (known as now Academy of Design), Colombo, Sri Lanka                           
2006 - Kathmandu University of Art , Bhaktapur, Nepal

Selected Exhibitions
2015 - Solo exhibition, Ville de Saze, Avignon, France
2014 - ‘OFR’, exhibition ‘White like memories, black like hope’, Paris, France
2012 - The World Bank, Washington DC, USA
2012 - The art walk down town gallery, San Rafael, California, USA
2010 - ‘Serendipity Gallery’, Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

2015 - 2016 - Exhibition of video art installation at 'Experiment 98' New York based platform and  a part of The wrong - New Digital Art Biennale. 
2015 - Exhibition ‘Parures’, Made in town gallery, Paris, France 
2014 - ‘Gardening, Neighbourhood and transformation’,  Kleinsten kunstraum Olten, Switzerland 2014 - ‘Wishes from the neighbors’, Nextex,  St.gallen, Switzerland
2014 - ‘Les voisins c’est nous’, Gallery Cité Internationale des arts, Paris, France
2014- ‘ Trois histoires du Sri Lanka’, Gallery 59, Paris, France
2013 - Collective Le manifeste coloré exhibition ‘Toi parles France’ at the Chairubaine Festival, Chelle city, Paris, France
2013 - ‘Just breath’, Gallery 59, Paris, France
2013 - The ‘French Summer Festival’, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka Collaboration with a french graffiti artist – ‘Da Cruz’ for a wall mural.  
2012 - Gallery 59, Paris, France
2012 - Colombo art Biennale, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2012 - CoCA collective, Goethe Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2012 - The Hemple galleries, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2009 - Niravan Gallery, India 2009 - ‘Reflection Gallery’ Indore, India
2008 - Living Canvas, Thimphu, Bhutan
2008 - The World Fest, NAFA, Nepal
2007 - Online exhibition, International Museum of Women in San Francisco, USA
2007 - South Asian art show, Nepal


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