Shaanea Mendis D’Silva (1982) is a Sri Lankan born Visual Artist, and is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark (2022). She graduated with a BA (Hons) degree from The Lasalle College of The Arts, Singapore (2007) and has exhibited her work in Singapore, Copenhagen, Bornholm (Denmark ), Sri Lanka and Mumbai.
Her art practice engages in a meditative process, contemplating intricate biological patterns and textures from nature that are used as metaphors to communicate subtle political and social commentary. The use of oxidized iron/ rust stains, gold leaf and verdigris feature prominently along with delicate pen and ink and water-colour renderings.
Her digital artwork ‘The Helmet man’ went viral on social media as a symbol of protest, in light of recent events surrounding the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka.
Her solo features to date have been held at the Bombay Art Society (Mumbai), Barefoot Gallery (Colombo), the Galle Fort Hotel, Kopi Kade, The Lionel Wendt and Harold Pieris’ Galleries (Colombo). Since moving back to Colombo from Mumbai in 2018 she has been included in the Art Trail of the Galle Literary Festival 2019, and participated in numerous workshops supported by Colomboscope, Pro Helvetia, EUNIC, The British Council, The North South Network, The Alliance Francaise, Theertha Artist’s Collective and invited by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust to conduct the gold leafing work shop, the first of the workshop series held at De Saram House. She also engaged in research as a short-term consultant (2020-2021) for The World Bank Group, for ‘Creative Cities’, involving engagement with The Tokyo Development Learning Center, and renowned Japanese Art Director Fram Kitagawa and Art Front Gallery team, Japan.
Shaanea is currently working towards her next solo at the Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has also most recently been selected to feature alongside IMMART ( Immigration meets the Arts) network international artists exhibiting at Gallerie Lorien in Bornholm, at ARTIVAL 2023, which is supported by Nordisk kulturfond. The exhibition is curated by Tina Lorien, and is also in collaboration with Bornholm Kunstrunde 2023,