Ajantha Ranaweera is an artist, architect and a designer and ‘The Boy In Paradise’ is his first solo exhibition.

The collection features a combination of figurative works, water channels and abstract landscapes using mixed media on paper.

‘The Boy In Paradise’ will be open to the public from 4 October 2021 to 30 October 2021 at Paradise Road Galleries.

In Memory of My Brother and All Those Who Disappeared

The disappearance of a loved one leaves many unanswered questions, so many loose ends that cannot be tied, and no way to gain closure on their state of existence. This collection of paintings is enigmatic. Its theme is – disappearance. Disappearance as a contemplation that generates sites of spiritual bliss, which seem to offer a means of coming to terms with loss of a loved one.   

Desolation at the ceasing of being is never far away. The main subject of this body of work is boys, unreal, enigmatic, ethereal, iridescent, at times in paradise visualised as a metaphysical garden, a sanctuary of bliss. 

The boys, in shifting fantasy realms, rest and play in modalities that disturb reality. Far from worldly strife they sleep, frolic in gardens, peeking through foliage, floating in boulder pools and water channels joyful and safe in the gardens of utopia. The gardens are equally stylized with varying scales and proportions that subvert reference to a familiar un-dimensional material world. T

hey are depicted as geometrically arranged vegetation, much like paddy fields, alongside grouped winding paths intertwining with banana leaves and channels of flowing water, that seem to lead nowhere.

Some winding reed beds are for little insects to snuggle in and build their own little colonies of bliss. The gardens evolve from stylized blocks into patches of colour flowing into one another and into nothingness. They are abandoning the boundaries of the physical to represent higher immaterial states of bliss. With no more material constraints attaching them to the physical world we are free to imagine gardens that depict the spiritual in extraordinary ways.

The combined themes of this collection can simultaneously evoke sentiments of separation, dis-ease, delight, sharing, peaceful co-existence and liberation.  

We crave for that moment of closure about the ones who have left us because we seek answers to the questions we have surrounding the unexpected. But life does not always answer back. We are left trying to define sense within the unfamiliar. Someday maybe we’ll realise the meaning of it all. Until then we may? can? shall celebrate the boys in paradise.

Ajantha Ranaweera, 2021