This exhibit is the culmination of years of anxiety over our disappearing world; a concern which has expressed itself in many ways, either overtly or covertly, through my paintings. Our planet is being irreversibly damaged due to climate change. The main culprit of this is us – humans. We extract and convert the earth’s natural resources into a myriad of goods and services at a faster rate than the earth can absorb or replenish and this disturbs the fine balance of the earth’s ability to clean up after us. Crucially, climate change impacts on the hydrological cycles of this planet – the water available for our use.
Water is one of the Earth’s most precious resources. It sustains life. It generates power, produces food, absorbs pollutants and is a raw material in many industries.
In Sri Lanka water plays an integral role in our heritage and culture. It is a purifier, a life giver, a symbol of fertility and transference; a part and parcel of our rituals and forms of worship, an essential part of our cultural heritage. In the 12th Century King Parakramabahu, who said ‘let not even a drop of rain water reach the sea without it being useful to man’ constructed and repaired several thousand reservoirs, dams and canals, including the Sea of Parakrama; the crowning achievement of a hydraulic civilization.
This June world leaders will gather at the UN Earth Summit during the Winter Solstice in Rio de Janeiro. Can they deliver? Are they really listening? Can they hear? Will they dare to make the changes that will save our earth? We do not have another one to go to after we have destroyed this one.
Can we act now to protect our beautiful and fragile planet?