Shehan Madawela – Painter

‘My work is inspired by my time in Africa and Sri Lanka, as well as by the light, textures and vibrant colors of India; it’s flora, fauna, the use and worship of stone and the concern for the environment.

‘Oils are my preferred medium, although sometimes I incorporate gold, silver and copper leaf in my paintings. These days I find myself working more with acrylic and water based paints. Being predominantly self-taught, I am free to experiment with different mediums and styles, though there is a common thread that runs through my paintings from series to series.’

Shehan Madawela’s art has been exhibited in Sri Lanka, India, England, New York, Malaysia, Switzerland, the Hague in Netherlands, and Bahrain. His work is in private collections in Sri Lanka and in other parts of the world.

Shehan was born and educated in Sri Lanka. He lived for four years in Australia, and eight in South Africa where he worked in various fields and ran a family business. But the world of business did not hold his interest for long, he returned to Sri Lanka and began to paint. Born into a family of artists, he had never given art ‘any serious thought until then‘.

As the creation of art took root in him, Shehan left for Kala Bhavan, the arts faculty at Shantiniketan in India, where he spent two years living and working. After, he moved to Bangalore and then Mysore. Hailing from a Buddhist Christian family, and having experienced some of the world, he flourished in India’s diverse and multi-cultural environment.

At present, Shehan lives and works in Sri Lanka.


Art by Shehan Madawela
Features on the
June 2017 poster
of Surrey Muse

This particular painting was chosen
by Art director Mariam Zohra
from the following four paintings


the prisoner of love

the rice series

vermilion summer

Art Director was first drawn to #2 the prisoner of love;
but it could have offended Surrey Library’s
‘protect children from nudity’ ordinance.
She picked #3 the rice series
because it conveyed to her:
the stare of the three
the keepers of earth-blue
the stand of the three

A tough choice, indeed.
Thank you, Shehan Madawela, for letting us
feature this powerful painting on Surrey Muse poster.

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About Surrey Muse

An interdisciplinary Arts and Literature group that meets Fourth Friday of each month except December. Presents a Guest Author, a Featured Poet, and a Featured Artist/Performer. Discussions. Open Mic. Book Table. Book Signings. Free event. Donations welcome.

One thought on “Shehan Madawela – Painter

  1. […] ‘Reversal’ by Shehan Madawela March 2020, the 1st virtual gathering of Surrey Muse. […]


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