Still waters run deep
They say still waters run deep. This is true of Karunasiri
Wijesinghe. There is a certain stillness and quietness about him and yet
when you look at his paintings you feel that there are depths to this
A soft spoken and unassuming man Karunasiri is modest. Yet his
achievements speak volumes. He is also a man who has an almost spiritual
connection with water; with nature. He himself questions why we are so
fascinated with water.
So states Wijesinghe:
“Since the beginning of time, it (water) has been seen as a symbol of
life and regarded as prima materia- the prime substance of the universe.
Life developed out of the sea, the human foetus is surrounded and
protected by amniotic fluid and our body consists of about 65% water.
Water is associated with life energy. Recent research by Dr. Masaru
Imoto not only confirmed this life energy aspect , but revealed the
fascinating behavior of water particles, not visible to the naked eye :
water was found to be a bearer of information , human thought and word
affect the quality of water and vice versa.
This fact has been known it seems to many ancient civilizations.
Water has many facets in community cultural life. It is the purifier,
the Life Giver, a Symbol of Fertility and a Symbol of the Transfer and
Destruction of Evil. In fact Water is at the centre of cultural and
religious life of all Sri Lankan ethnicities and religions .
From birth to death, in all important events of a person’s life,
water plays a central role and is vested with deep symbolic and
The main body of Karunasiri’s work has been described as a profound
cultural response to one salient theme and that is nature. The last two
years have been an intensive period of work for Karunasiri during which
he produced 12 canvases of oil and 16 drawings on paper.
“Behind each of Karu’s works, one can sense the long hours and days
that the artist has spent contemplating trees and forests. One cannot
fail to feel the presence of a silent and penetrating mind behind these
works. The serene mood that these drawings have thus acquired endows
them with meditative connotation, elevating them to a higher status of
beauty,” said Professor Jagath Weerasinghe.
1982- BFA obtained from Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of
Kelaniya from 1996 to 2009, Lecturer at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts
(VAFA), Sri Lanka.
2003- 2005 - Visiting Lecturer at the Sri Palee Campus, University of
2007- Drawings and Pyrography Exhibition at Lionel Wendt Art Gallery
2006- “Prakurthi” Drawing and Pyrography Exhibition , Lionel Wendt Art
Gallery Sri Lanka
2005- “Tree Life”- Drawing and Pyrography Exhibition, Deutsch Bank ,
2004 - “Seen and Unseen”- Cycle of Paints; Response to works by two
Major Poets, BMICH lobby:
1995- Vanarekha – Drawing Exhibition, British Council, Kandy, Sri
1995 - Vanarekha - Drawing Exhibition , National Art Gallery, Colombo
1988 – First Solo Exhibition , Drawings and Paintings, Lionel Wendt Art
1987- Best Book Cover of the Year, State Literary Festival
2005- Bunka Award 2005 (for Visual Arts) Japan Sri Lanka Friendship