2014, Mixed Media On paper, 40cm x 60cm


    2014, Mixed Media On paper, 40cm x 60cm


    2014, Mixed Media On paper, 40cm x 60cm


    2014, Mixed Media On paper, 40cm x 60cm


Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan obtained a PhD at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His oeuvre deals with the subjects of home, displacement, memory and loss. As a resident of Jaffna, Sri Lanka’s 30 year civil war that took place predominantly in the North and East of the island placed him at the core of the turmoil. His art practice involves various disciplines; documentation, memory recollection, stitched painted maps and intricate unconnected jigsaws. Shanaathanan has worked on two book projects with Raking Leaves, the latter focused entirely on the artist’s documentation and artistic translation of stories told by individuals displaced by the war. His project with the Museum of Anthropology Vancouver saw the artist interacting with the Tamil diaspora titled Imag(in)ing ‘Home’ in 2009 presented the belonging of 300 community members as representations of their narratives and ideas of home. Shanaathanan’s Landscape maps stitched together present aerial views of lands no longer in existence. They are the artist’s memories of the north, places that no longer exist. The earthen colors and materials are delicate yet tactile, resembling of the northern terrain. The artist’s cathartic practice of depicting these landscapes emphasizes the notions of home and displacement. The practice of stitching together metaphorically relates to memory and loss. His most noted series Mismatches consist of works composing jigsaw pieces with detailed paintings of imagery placed together on a stark white surface. These images serve as different memories that don’t quite fit together but through their connective representation present the displacement of those with histories in the locations of the war. Mismatches exhibition was launched alongside with the artist’s book project titled The Incomplete Thombu in collaboration with curator Sharmini Pereira of Raking Leaves. The book project focused on retelling and interpreting the stories of 80 families that lost their homes in the Sri Lankan civil war.



1997 BFA in Painting (University of Delhi)
2000 MFA in Painting (University of Delhi)
2011 PhD Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


Solo Exhibitions

2014 Dis/ placement | Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2011 Mismatches | Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2006 Locating the Self | Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2001 Paradise Road Galleries | Colombo, Sri Lanka
1998 Heritage Art Gallery | Colombo, Sri Lanka


Group Exhibitions (selected)

2016 Disambiguation, curated by Saskia Fernando | Art Dubai 2016, U.A.E
2011 Non-Aligned | Barefoot Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2010 Visual Responses During the War: Selected Artists Works | Lionel Wendt Gallery & Harold Peiris Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2010 Border Zones | New Art Across Cultures. Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada
2010 The One Year Drawing Project show | APT, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
2009 The One Year Drawing Project Exhibition | SAVAC, Toronto, Canada
2009 The One Year Drawing Project Exhibition | Devi Art Foundation New Delhi, India
2008/09 Artful Resistance: Crisis and Creativity in Sri Lanka | Museum of Ethnology, Vienna
2004 An Exhibition of Painting by 13 Artists from Jaffna | Alliance Francaise, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
2004 Agam – Puram | An exhibition of Visual Art, Public Library, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
2004 New Sri Lankan Art | Usher Gallery, UK
2003 New Sri Lankan Art | October Gallery, UK
2000 Kannukkul Velli | Tamil ini – 2000, Madras, India
1997 Exposition 97 Exhibition of paintings | Rabindra Bawan, New Delhi, India
1994 France / Sri Lanka Friendship Exhibition | Embassy of Sri Lanka in France, Paris, France

Click here to visit the external link www.artspacesrilanka.com and view the artist available works

Saskia Fernando Gallery