Grosvenor Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition of recent paintings by one of Sri Lanka's most exciting young artists, Priyantha Udagedara (b. 1975). The exhibition will open with a private view on Thursday, 15 September 2016 from 6-8pm. The exhibition will be open to the public from 16 - 30 September 2016.
Priyantha Udagedara was born and raised in Kandy, Sri Lanka during a time of civil unrest. He studied painting at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (2003) and was later awarded a scholarship by the President's Fund Sri Lanka to study abroad. Priyantha chose the UK to further develop his talent and passion for painting and completed his MA in 2007 and his PHD in 2013 in Contemporary Fine Art Practice at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Priyantha's works have been greatly influenced by his experience of conflict and political unrest in Sri Lanka from 1983 onwards. The so called peaceful paradisiac island that he once knew had turned into a scarred monster where crisis had penetrated the norm and disrupted the perceptions of a serene and peaceful place as portrayed in all the tourist brochures.
"My art is a new form of landscape, one which exemplifies terror and beauty in one place. The viewer takes in a false sense of beauty before the revelation of the displaced sense of agonising beauty."
His paintings have an aesthetically pleasing quality to them and from a distance suggest themes of beauty and paradise. However, when viewed closely these paintings tell a different story. Embedded deep within the layers of tropical paradise we see collaged pieces of fragmented human body parts combined with splattered paint. This morbid juxtaposition of beauty, chaos and agony provides an altered story to the previously perceived sense of beauty.
This exhibition marks Priyantha's return to the UK after two years. The current body of works are a continuation of his previous series that contemplate the current political and social state of post-war Sri Lanka.
Priyantha's work has been exhibited widely in Sri Lanka and the rest of the world. He has had two solo exhibitions at Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, and has also exhibited solo shows at Paradise Road Galleries Colombo, Norman Rea Gallery York and Colorida Galeria De Arte E Design Lisbon. He has participated in group exhibitions internationally at Breese Little Gallery London, The Cross Art Project Sydney, Lalit Kala Academy Gallery New Delhi and Art Dubai, UAE.