‘Queen of the Jungle’ by Anoushka de Silva

In a bid to help people living with leprosy, Hajara Asad Ali (former student of Colombo International School), Shari Jayawardhana (former student of Ladies’ College), Sandali Pathirana (student of Visakha Vidyalaya) and Anoushka de Silva (student of Ladies’ College) who are students of Mrs. Saumya Jayasekera will display over 80 paintings at an art exhibition titled ‘Shades of Hope’. It will be held from June 4 to 5, 9 am to 7 pm at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, Colombo 7.

‘Filtering Light’ by Shari Jayawardhana
‘Filtering Light’ by Shari Jayawardhana

Part of the sale proceeds from the exhibition will be in aid of the Society for the Uplift and Rehabilitation of Leprosy Affected Persons (SUROL), the only functioning non-Governmental Organization in Sri Lanka, committed towards bringing hope and happiness to people affected by Leprosy.

Painting has always been a passion for Hajara Asad Ali who has countless fond memories of enjoying it throughout her childhood. However, it was only after completing her undergraduate studies in International Business that she decided to rediscover her love for painting.

“I found painting to be a beautiful distraction from the busy exam-led lifestyle I just graduated from. I am grateful to my teacher Saumya Jayasekera for helping me to sharpen my talents and for bringing out the best in me as a painter,” said Hajara.
Shari Jayawardhana has been interested in art since she was a child. She took up Art as one of, her subjects while schooling at Ladies’ College, Colombo. After completing her higher studies in Communication and Public Health overseas, she became interested in painting as an activity of self-discovery and relaxation. Her paintings are inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Her work is executed in a vibrant, impressionistic style with bold colours bringing a sense of joy to the viewer.

‘Geraniums’ by Hajara Asad Ali
‘Geraniums’ by Hajara Asad Ali

“I have been inspired by the masterpieces of world famous Impressionists such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. Each new painting has made me into the more confident and resilient person that I am today. I want to thank my teacher Saumya Jayasekera for her guidance and encouragement, without it this exhibition would not have been possible,” noted Shari.

A Grade 10 student of Visakha Vidyalaya, Sandali Pathirana first started painting, when she was eight years old. She has been displaying her talent at annual school art exhibitions. She was awarded the second place at the annual art exhibition of Visakha Vidyalaya, ‘Sithu Murthi’ held in 2008.

“I enjoy painting calm and beautiful scenery from nature. I like to experiment with various methods but canvas painting is my favourite,” said Sandali.

Anoushka de Silva, has been painting under the guidance of Saumya Jayasekera, since she was eight years old. A Grade 10 student of Ladies’ College, Anoushka was the winner of the school Art Challenge Cup in 2013 and the middle school digital art competition in 2015. She is currently studying Art as a subject for her O’ level examination.

“As I have a busy after-school schedule, painting provides me with much-needed relaxation and quiet time which I cherish. The love for animals has provided the inspiration for my paintings. My canvases capture the spirit of free roaming wild animals from around the world,” said Anoushka.