In conversation with Jayantha Silva

A veteran artist associated with Kala Pola, Seevali has been composing vibrant paintings for many years. We were lucky enough to have a short chat with Seevali about his practice.

Q. How many times have you exhibited at Kala Pola? Tell us about your first experience compared to Kala Pola now.
A. I’m not too sure how many times I have exhibited, however I participated in Kala Pola from its inception in 1993. As expected I have seen it grow from a small festival of around 35 artists to the large scale festival it is today, that spans the entire stretch of Green Path in Colombo.

Q. What is the medium you work primarily with? Why do you choose this medium?
A. From the very beginning, I have worked with oil paints. I believe that oils work best with my work as they contain a rich textural quality that I really like. It has always been received very well by art enthusiasts and my buyers equally, which is important to me. Therefore, I will continue to work with this medium and push my technique with oils to the best of my ability.

Q. What is the message you wish to communicate through your art? What does your art represent?
A. My art is always related to nature. In a day and age where we see more development and less conservation, I believe my art shines light on the beauty of nature and how fragile, yet wonderful it is. I also paint many landscapes of my memories from the village I grew up in, Siwalakulama, in the central province of Sri Lanka. Some of my paintings are looking back fondly at my childhood, as well as portraying the traditional culture of Sri Lanka.

Q. Who are your greatest influences when it comes to your art? Who inspires you?
A. To be quite frank, I am most inspired by nature, growing up surrounded by it. It was such an extension of myself, that I had to bring these scenes to canvas. My beautiful little village and the experiences of village life are a large part of what inspired me to paint.