Priyantha Weerasooriya, born in 1979, is a Sri Lankan artist who hails from Yatawaka in the Gampaha district, where he currently resides. He works in an art studio in Nittambuwa, a small town close to his home. Priyantha acquired a Foundation Fine Arts Painting Diploma from Central Saint Martins in London. He also did a stint as a Gallery Assistant at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, United Kingdom. As a Sri Lankan artist continuing his aesthetic journey in London, he has had the best of both worlds, with his paintings having been exhibited in both London and Colombo.
Anyone who gets a glimpse of Priyantha’s portfolio, will immediately recognize the singular attraction he has for a particular subject – the Bodhisatva, the life of Lord Buddha before his enlightenment. He has been painting the Bodhisatva since 2006 using both canvas and paper as his medium of choice and with each rendition, he explores the subject using an approach that is unique to only that rendition. Prince Siddharta was a man who grew up in luxury, whose inner yearning for transcending the conventional realities of lay life and to unearth the ultimate truth of human existence led him to go on a journey of soul-searching, and Priyantha’s work takes us through this journey. In each of his paintings, the face of Siddharta bears a disgruntled look while his self is surrounded by pleasures of nature, depicting the inner wrestle with his conscience and human desires. Priyantha manages to capture this very humane aspect quite cleverly with his brush strokes, striving to show his audience that each of us has the same potential for that greatness within ourselves as well. These paintings were done when the world was grappling with an unprecedented pandemic. The time compelled Priyantha to delve into the teachings of the Buddha - the impermanence, suffering and non-self. It exhumed his contemplation about the lay life of Buddha; a message that he intends at imparting to the viewers that they themselves can reflect.