In the later part of his career, Senanayake has focused his talent on the natural environment of his homeland. As he is quick to point out, 70% of the Sri Lankan rainforest has been cut down to make way for mines and agriculture. And so Senanayake paints the forests, to remind viewers of their plight and importance. In an interview, Senanayake spoke of the Buddhist guru who showed him that his painting could be an effective method of resistance: "...my wife introduced me to guru Sathya Sai Baba. He once said that happiness is always sandwiched between two sadnesses — we live for this moment of happiness. This struck me. I thought, if I depict the negative parts of environmental destruction, who is going to be interested? But if I show the positive, I will get my message across." And so now Senanayake paints brilliant canvases filled with vibrant lotus flowers and butterflies and hummingbirds and heliconias and dragonflies. The beauty of Sri Lanka is writ large in these paintings, there for all to see, value, and hopefully preserve.
The Signature Summer Auction
Saturday, June 12th