Pradeep Thalawatta

As landscapes change and shift, historicities aligning alternately and new century traditions take place, the ideology of evolution seeps through, inciting and eliciting alterations in perspectives and conceptions. Each generation distinct from the next despite cultural notions in existence; the growth and development of a familiar space into foreign terrains, be it geographical or conceptual, is one that is inherent to an individual’s comprehension of a the paths through which one remembers and experiences. It is these conceptions through which we perceive Pradeep Thalawatta’s exhibition ‘Uncertain Alone’ explain and discern – how does one comprehend a man-made scape through its construction and reconstruction. A series of video performances, recordings and tracings exhibit Pradeep’s understanding as well as findings of landscapes that once was and what it. 

Pradeep Thalawatta had his first art education at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts and completed his undergraduate studies at the Beacon House National University, Lahore, Pakistan where he received a BFA degree in 2007. In addition, he underwent training in jewelry, fashion design, textile design, interior and graphic design at the National Design Centre, Sri Lanka. His interest is in the contemporariness of material, texture, color, the exotic allure of the urban waste. He has showcased his work locally and in India, Maldives, Sweden since 2003. He lives and works in Sri Lanka. Recently artist, Pradeep Thalawatta showcased his latest collection, ‘Uncertain Alone’ at the esteemed space, Lionel Wendt. The works of art were exhibited from the 19th to the 21st of March as his works conveyed concepts of change in landscape and the intricacies behind the implications of these changes while discerning the dialog between work of art and viewer. 


People build reality, by personal memories, experiences, histories, heritage and religion: each of these elements has its context and baggage, and together they organize the many layers of our present lives, day by day, expressing changes through certain frames. 

These works question the notion of art, the role of an artist, why an artist may not have an audience without the notion of art. There are many entry points to rethink how history has been repeating itself, and how society pushes us, continually highlighting some particular matters as boundaries. 

These works may perhaps represent the notion of subversion, of conflicting realities, and so have the effect of subverting stereotypes, asking the viewers to re-examine their spatial relationship with the work as they understand what they are seeing. 

Works liberate the specificity of what was given in the past construct. These works are trying to recreate greater possibilities, to free them from a specific time and place. Further, these works are different because for the first time there’s a sense of viewing change through the present context; this provides a political edge, and frequently incorporates a dialogue with the viewer.

Video performances, recordings and tracing cast a body in different characters to examine how it acts in private and public space, along with the aesthetic and dramatic layers of living. This tends to engage with theories of a place, characterized through a historical gaze.


Moving on from the idea of construction in my previous practice, I have used different sources and references to review the man-made scapes, how the environment has been changing day by day due to construction. Working on this theme raises many questions, and offers possibilities to think more reconditely. There is a prefabricated narrative that serves as a platform to look at the present world. The various elements of personal disciplines, of beliefs, experiences, morals, and historicity add layers to the construction of a style of living better.


I always have a strange sentiment of art-making. Art is not an escape from personality, but it is certainly confusing; something deep and mysterious, inside of me. This body of work does not focus on one subject matter, and I would not describe each work that I have made as fun. Art is an act. The idea of making art is for me generally a very uncomfortable activity, but once I start, I get comfortable with it. The act of making art starts as something very personal, and then, in the end, it is no more personal. Day by day arrangements, self-made narrative, emotion and sensitivity create a relationship with reality. I keep examining the heritage concerns that relate to place and history through the character of popular imagery. These aspects, sharpened through new mediums, installation and projection are capable of breaking free from the stereotype. 

Change is static, a constant. One measures the variables of change through identifying the details in a subject’s alteration, intricacies that have evolved or degraded. Pradeep Thalawatta’s exhibition ‘Uncertain Alone’ explores these changes in the day-to-day habitats, narratives and emotiona; sensitivities. From the varying distinctions between his encapsulations of ‘The Lamp of Heaven Reflects on an Unbuilt Wall’ or ‘The Iconography of Eternity’ to presenting them through alternate mediums, reformed to convey his concept, Pradeep’s collection is intrinsic in its capacity to portray differences and allowing the audience to reflect upon while creating conversation and interaction between each work of art and its viewer. 


3rd May, 2021 Visual Art | Paintings