Lunuganga was created by Geoffrey Bawa over a period of 40 years and is considered to be a seminal expression of his practice, a place where much of Bawa’s architectural thinking was explored and expressed through a series of built structures and the creation of a garden. Bawa always invited artists, including Laki Senananyake, Lidia Duchini, Fiona Hall, Jimmy Ong and Michael Ondaatje to make work on site or be inspired by it. Lunuganga has been and continues to be a quiet source of generosity for those interested to draw from this gift.
In his seminal book on the subject of gifts, Lewis Hyde remarks “When we are moved by art we are grateful that the artist lived, grateful that he laboured in the service of his gifts. If a work of art is the emanation of its maker’s gift and if it is received by its audience as a gift, then is it, too, a gift?” These questions are key to how we perceive Lunuganga and how we continue to engage with it today. Hyde also speaks of gifts as agents of change, and we look to the garden which is both ever-changing and ever-constant as we reflect on the concepts of time and change.