Laki Senanayake (1937 – ) has been painting and drawing since the age of three. Spent the years from 1946 to 1956 in various educational institutions gathering little moss. Found Art as enforced in school tiresome and devoted his time to bounding about on a diving board. Sacked from his first job as an architectural draughtsman, within a year, for starting a trade union. He was fortunate to be re-employed as an assistant to Geoffrey Bawa, Architect. He created many sculptures and murals for Bawa’s buildings. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, landscape gardening, silk screen printing, batik, and digital art.
He also co-authored with Barbara Sansoni
and Dr. Ronald Lewcock, a book entitled
“The Architecture of anIsland“
Introduction by Dr. Ronald Lewcock
Published by The Geoffrey Bawa Trust
Laki Senanayake is an imaginative artist of genius in many fields and one of the focal figures of Sri Lankan creative art. He belongs to the generation that emerged in the 1950s, a period as innovative and creative in Sri Lankan art, literature, music, theatre and film as any that has followed since. Almost from boyhood he worked closely with the great artists of the time, the Australian artist Donald Friend, architects Geoffrey Bawa and Ulrik Plesner, Valentine Gunasekara, landscape designer Bevis Bawa, fabric designers Ena de Silva and Barbara Sansoni and thinkers and writers such as Reggie Siriwardena and Senator R Nadesan.
This book is an introduction to his life and work, in the hope that a wider audience may appreciate his extraordinary achievements. His art ranges from abstract to natural, from Surrealist to Cubist, in media that range from silkscreen printing to papier mache. Laki’s output represents the richness of Sri Lankan life and experience in a matching diversity and richness of expression.
His spontaneous approach to drawing, subjects and techniques have outraged convention many times, and repeatedly served as a liberating influence on the younger generation. Single- minded, witty and musical, the outrageous frankness of his nudes, his delight in the animal in nature, all these have caused scandal among cognoscenti for many years – and continue to do so as they are re-exhibited.
Laki’s Book of Owls
Has many of his drawings, paintings, sculptures and screen prints of owls and captures the fascination he has for them.
The epilogue to Laki’s book on Owls is written by Laki, and gives a glimpse at the enormous capacity for humor that he possesses!
Laki Senanayake needs no introduction as hardly anyone worth knowing knows him. Born in 1937, he is an amiable old man who is a jack of many trades and has mastered none. Educated in absentia at the Royal College, Colombo, he has dabbled in painting, sculpture, architecture, agriculture, landscape gardening, Batik, screen printing, dyeing, book illustration, currency design, poetry and inventions of various sorts. He lives in Diyabubula, a water garden in Dambulla, along with a large variety of wild life including monkeys, many species of birds, otters, monitor lizards, mouse deer, snakes and a crocodile.