Anoushka Hempel is amongst the keenest proponents, promoters and most passionate supporters of Sri Lankan art. She’s the organizer of Colombo’s Art Biennale, the first installment of which, in 2009, effectively served as Sri Lankan contemporary art’s coming out party.
At the Hempel Galleries she uses her space at the Galle Face Court apartments and her 30/3 Barnes place residence to display work from some of the country’s most promising emerging and mid-career artists. She represents Anoli Perera, Pala Pothupitiya, Pradeep Thalawatta, Koralegedara Pushpakumara and several other artists.
The large space at Barnes Place hosts frequent exhibitions and is a good place to drop-in to take the pulse of the local art scene while the apartment at Galle Face court is a beautiful space displaying a well-curated selection of art in the heart of the city. Both spaces are open to the public though it’s advisable to call Anoushka beforehand to organize a visit. Having been immersed in the city’s art scene for years she’s incredibly knowledgeable, so even if you don’t see anything you’d like to buy, a visit is an education and an induction into the local art scene.
What we saw; We went to the gallery at 30/3 Barnes Place and caught the opening of Korelagedara Pushpakumara’s Good Will hard Ware exhibition – a contemporary selection of rather geometric pieces featuring household implements, a little stark but thought provoking and faintly hypnotic.