I experienced one of the finest moments in my life last morning at the Art Gallery run by the Nadee Art Centre, Dehiattakandiya which presents the work of local artists. Undoubtedly it is the newest art gallery in the island. I travelled from Girandurukotte toward Dehiattakandiya and then took the turn to Lihiniyagama. When Anoli first told me about the gallery, I could not visualise it properly though I understood the concept. Interesting enough, the gallery was about to open an exhibition of visual art by local artists. The opening was scheduled to take place at around 12:00pm yesterday (Saturday). I found this quite strange and inquired as to why at this time. The answer I received was quite practical. That most people come by foot, others by bus (which comes once in a blue moon) or by bicycle. After 6 or 7 in the evening there are no buses running at all. Walking or going on a bicycle at this time would not be safe as there were no street lights and you could also encounter wild animals. Hence openings happen in broad day light !!! Invitees have got to wait under trees to escape from the sun which batters with no mercy, till the ribbon across the gallery door is cut. However, there were no complaints about the heat. Everybody seemed to have accepted it quite happily and enthusiastically. Seeing the work of their mates was more important, I guess. They offered kurumba (baby coconuts) and plain tea as refreshments. I was privileged to meet the artists and school kids who had gathered for the opening.
View from the entrance to the premises