Gamini Warnasuriya is an artist who joined the 43 Group in the 1950s while extending support and assistance in terms of logistics and organization of the Group’s exhibitions locally and internationally. Warnasuriya’s work had an expressive quality, his modernity, in comparison to the founders of the 43 Group, articulated in intricate designs and intensely colourful compositions in gouache on paper.
A student of Aubrey Collette at Royal College, Warnasuriya was well known for being a careful and meticulous painter; the evidence of this seen in his portrait of Jean White, the Sri Lankan pianist. In the 43 Group exhibition of 1955, Warnasuriya exhibited for the first time with the group showing eleven paintings, with a significant increase in terms of volume of work for his nest exhibition with the group the very next year. He had also accrued interest in his work in Australia, where he won the Perth Award for the Best Contemporary Watercolour, and was also commissioned by the Ceylon Tea Centre in Melbourne to create a 20ft mural. He also had a solo exhibition in Melbourne at the Richman Galleries, during this time.
Warnasuriya, however, was also an architect by profession, having graduated in Melbourne in 1958. A different pursuit and perhaps another kind of appetite for form, architecture took over his life’s trajectory when Warnasuriya migrated to Western Australia in 1970 for a career in town planning. Here, his pursuits as a painter were abandoned.
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