In this book of his life and work, the drawings and the paintings come across as so spontaneous, so driven by the muscular force of the moment, that one could forget that imagination is never purely visual but also conceptual.
This priceless collection of 73 drawings and paintings were done between 1971 and 1978. Completely forgotten by Laki Senanayake, they vanished into a black hole of his memory, and amazingly resurfaced in 2015, thanks to the internet.
Sri Lankans have long embraced Laki as their renaissance man, and among his thousands of creations, few bear his mark as completely as does Diyabubula, his home in Dambulla. With Diyabubula, Laki has created a garden that rewards the persistence of his uninvited guests.
Dressed in his regulation sarong and t-shirt, Laki Senanayake looks like there are few things he takes seriously – certainly, he doesn’t count his reputation as an ‘artist’ among them. “I’m assured by various people…that I’m Sri Lanka’s leading artist – God knows where I’m leading anyone,” he says, grinning.
The Art of Paper Currency provides a historical insight into the needs for money as a means of exchange and explains the stages that led to the modern banking system. Also provides us with a travelogue of 162 countries exploring the cultural, economic and political significance of the subjects depicted on bank notes throughout the world.
Unheard and unseen,
flits about the house
as quiet as a mouse,
Keeping it tidy and clean.
But alas !
Is more apt
for a bat.
I mean “flit”
which rather spoils my verse
But no matter.
I trust no one will natter
too much about it.
Laki Senanayake (1937 – ) has been painting and drawing since the age of three. He Spent the years from 1946 to 1956 in various educational institutions gathering little moss. Laki Found Art as enforced in school tiresome and devoted his time to bounding about on a diving board.