June 19, 2020

Saskia Fernando Gallery’s exhibition of new work by Hashan Cooray presents paintings and drawings from his latest series titled ‘Desire’. The works, created over the past twelve months, feature drawings and painting across the themes of love, pain, desire and the artists thoughts on existentialism. The body of work features self-portraits in an attempt to discuss a narrative more personal to the artist. Incorporating words referring to god-like beings ass well as lewd terminology, the artists aim is the evoke a sense that leads to the questioning of ones own conformity. The mouthless face and other works are partly covered by his gestural Cacti paintings, a symbol of his self via the repelling nature of the plant combined with its nourishing interior. Fluid black strokes form many of the portraits, a black form that clearly resembles the face, and to the artist his darkest most questionable moments. These works are created instinctively, with charcoal, paint and brushes the artist constructs himself with fine coir and long sticks. The three portraits represent the Holy Trinity, in continuity of the artists reference to the subject of conformity. Using form and the depth of blackness in parallel with writing and contrasting forms and colour; the artist plays with the aesthetic to underline his narrative. His portraits are not mirror images, they are representations of the soul.