This is Indika. The International award-winning artist from Sri Lanka.
I met Indika in his gallery in beautiful Tangalle. I was blown away by his collection and the variety of his work. I couldn't quite believe it was all created by one artist. The gallery was filled with different colours and styles, making it extremely hard to pick just one favourite.
As I browsed, Indika was kind enough to welcome me to his gallery with stories about his life including the effects of the awful tsunami in 2004. As an artist from the age of 8, Indika’s extensive collection was unfortunately swept away in the devastation. With the help of his loving community, a small number of his pieces did manage to make their way back to him. One piece I chose included the abstract painting of two gem washers which he drew back in 1994, although understandably the picture isn't completely perfect, it's the character and history of the piece that I find so enticing. I like to think it adds to its beauty.
After the disaster, in what was no doubt an emotionally and physically challenging time, Indika stopped painting. But once again his wonderful community came together helping him to begin painting again by offering support and help to purchase supplies. Now 13 years later, his gallery is packed full of beautiful pieces and he continues to welcome people with that famously cheerful Sri Lankan smile.
The abstract gemwasher piece will go on sale in March. In the meantime, I have already added two more of his beautiful wood burnt pieces to my small collection, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions by this very talented artist.