Indigenous art forms and handloom traditions have been given an entirely new meaning and life through Samarawickrema’s innovative ventures in tapestry design as portrayed in the tapestry exhibition held July this year.

In the art world, his creative skills in textile design have gained renown beyond the boundaries of his homeland. His work has been recognised through exhibitions in Germany (Deutsches Textilmuseum Krefeld), Scandinavia (Norsk Form, Architecture and Design Museum Oslo), Italy, India, and the Design Store of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As a result, it is not only his work, but also the whole field of Sri Lankan art that has gained this recognition.

Samarawickrema’s personal identity lies in his ability to stimulate his viewers’ sensitivity and appreciation by drawing their attention through the evocative power of various colour combinations and lines. Using the warp and weft within the confines of its traditional raw cloth medium, these innovative modern designs have elevated handloom art forms to new heights. Through thick embossed borders, intricate fillings—woven into soft grey cloth, and perspectives that bring a vivid sense of spatial expansion, Samarawickrema’s creativity expresses a three dimensional propensity that transcends the confines of two dimensional perception.

The traditional handloom industry, which has supported the livelihoods of traditional weavers, has been enhanced in new ways by Samarawickrema’s interventions; his creative efforts have introduced the Talagune Uda-Dumbara weavers to a new product market.

Today, Samarawickrema’s designs have infused Sri Lankan traditional craft with new vitality and given it an international platform. This exhibition paves way for him to honour and retain the authenticity of this great tradition of his homeland.