The forthcoming exhibition of paintings by Bartholameuze Wimalaratne done in the past months was held at the Lionel Wendt on January 13 and 14.

Wimalaratne hails from Kalegana a small town in the Galle district. He was educated at PiyatissaMahaVidyalaya and entered the University of Colombo in 1965. After six months he left the University and joined the People’s Bank and retired as a manager.

His passion for art was displayed in 1973 when he exhibited 30 water colour drawings and sculptures done in wood at the Samudra Art Gallery, Colombo. The success he achieved at this maiden exhibition made him to hold his art cum sculpture exhibition at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery in 2003, in which he displayed 18 paintings and selected sculptures.

His third and fourth exhibitions followed at the same venue. The fifth exhibition was held with a difference, exclusively with sculptures at the Alliance Francaise de Colombo, Barnes Place. The present exhibition, his sixth consisting of 36 paintings done in oil on canvas has been titled INSIGHT painted in the abstract style. He does not want to be trslistic following the pictorial style of painting his figures, instead he wants to convey his ideas and feelings in a suggestive manner. Hence, one sees coloured patterns but a discerning observer can notice the message he tries to convey.

Wimalaratne captures beauty with his brush and paint imaginatively evolving a distinct personal style over a period of four decades.His sculptures in wood he did earlier– Crucifixion, Ecstasy, Disaster, Collapse, Family, Oppression and Self mortification bear testimony to his ability in creating his ideas into art form. Without following a course of art he had created notable exhibits at public buildings. The best example is the mural done in wood 8x16 feet on display at the Head Office of the People’s Bank Colombo, on the 5th floor. The figures in the mural appear three dimensional harmoniously blending western and eastern art forms done with dexterity to bring out his figures in the form of a panorama.

He is a seeker of social justice. In conveying his ideas based on this theme, he has portrayed man’s oppression by the society and nature and his struggle to achieve against all odds. In painting, he has chosen sober colours like green, yellow, white and their shades from the wide spectrum of colours. This gives a soothing effect to the eye of the beholder.

The essence of his artistic expressions show Wimalaratne’s effort in mastering his medium of expression, of his deep seated ideas in the form of abstract art. He has evolved as a major artist in Sri Lanka 


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