Founded in 2001 by 11 renowned Sri Lankan artists, the Theertha International Artists Collective began as a way to facilitate international artists workshops in Sri Lanka. Its activities have now expanded to include art education through teacher trainings, publications on art and culture and international and local exhibitions.
Pradeep Chandrasiri is a founding member and executive committee member of the Theertha Artists Collective. Chandrasiri is a well-known visual artist who has been working in art scenography, production designs and experimental films for two and a half decades. He came to prominence during the 1990s and has since exhibited locally and internationally. His work is profoundly influenced by autobiographical memories of his experiences in Sri Lanka. Chandrasiri completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Kelaniya, in 1997 and his Masters of Arts in History of Art, Postgraduate Institute of Archeology (PGIAR), at the University of Kelaniya, in 2011. He is currently a visiting lecturer on theatre set design and production design at various universities and theatre schools in Colombo. He has designed award-winning theatre sets for the National Theatre Festival of Sri Lanka and also received the Commonwealth Art and Craft Award for his work in visual arts in 2003, which allowed him to participate in a visiting artist programme at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He participated in many local and international artist programmes since 1998, including the second Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan in 2002. Chandrasiri belongs to the group of artists first identified as the ’90s Trend’, a Sri Lankan art movement that professed a new ideological position in art production influenced by contemporary art practice and social context.
Koralegedra Pushpakumara is a core group member and co-Director of the Theertha International Artists Collective, Sri Lanka. Pushpakumara is one of the early artists of the 90s Trend who has exhibited extensively in Sri Lanka. He has taken part in many international workshops and art events; including in India, Sweden, Pakistan, London and the Netherlands. His ‘Goodwill Hardware’ series and its developments which began in the post-war era in Sri Lanka has been highly acclaimed and has been exhibited at Theertha Red Dot Gallery, the Colombo Art Biennale and at the Dhaka Art Summit Bangladesh At present he is represented by Exhibit 320 gallery in Delhi He has received many local and international awards. He is also one of the shortlisted artists for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong 2021.
Bandu Manamperi is a core member of Theertha International Artists’ Collective. Manamperi creates highly personal art experiences based on the transformation of his own body. His art practice also encompasses sculpture, drawing, painting, installation art, photo performances and photographic-art. His praxis brings together notions of memory, and demonstrates how the effects of external complex political, cultural, religious events and doctrines are absorbed into the individual’s being through the body to create memories that become inscribed within us. Manamperi’s art has been part of the discourse of the ‘90s Trend’ and explores three themes. One is to highlight critically the oppressive cultural believes or practices forced upon women, prevailing in the male-centric society. Another is to present, through sensitive performances, the individual’s pain and anxieties in a war ridden society. The last theme is to critically interrogate religious interventions and extremist behaviors of the State through political and sometimes witty performances.
Thisath Thoradeniya is a self-taught artist from Kandy. He received his initial training at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Art. He is currently based in Colombo and works as a full-time professional artist, working with mediums such as painting, sculpture and installation. He has participated in several international Art residencies and workshops in Bangladesh and Mauritius, and his work has been exhibited in the Asian Art Biennale 2008 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where it has received the Honorable Mention Award.
Kajendran was born in Mullaitivu in 1988 and survived the war and the tsunami of 2004. He Graduated in Fine Arts (Art History) from the University of Jaffna in 2014. He was awarded the prestigious UNESCO scholarship of the Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asian Arts (UMISSA) and graduated with a Masters in Art and Design from the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) of Lahore, Pakistan. His work has been featured both locally and internationally. Kajendran served as a temporary assistant lecturer and visiting lecturer at the Art and Design Unit and the Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna. His practice involved several mediums such as drawings, paintings, installations, photography, performance, video-based performances and digital works.