Creative Arts

Sri Lanka is full of small villages like the one where the lush life villa is located, where you are greeted by the smiling faces of the village grandmothers, sitting out on their front benches to gossip into the evenings, where shepherds still tend sheep and cows, and where you’re more likely to be awoken by the temple morning chanting. Yes, this village is poor — people live with very little here, and have to be resourceful to survive. But, in seeing all of this, I was also able to appreciate the honest simplicity of it all. I joined them, and I am one of them.
Carving Artist : Kasun Thimira
In 2013, the villa was being built in this small Buddhist village; a lot of our neighbors worked at the villa for construction. One day, a young man came to the villa and stood in front of me and asked if I can let him work at the villa. I’ll never forget the undying spirit sparkling in his eyes. He told me that he studied music and art in college. He tried to make a living doing whatever job that was available to feed his family. He looked sad and scared; my heart was touched - he is same age as my daughter, he should be having fun and enjoying life.
I asked him if he can do wood carving for the villa, and that I would be pleased to use his wood carving pieces to decorate the whole villa. Now he runs the village carving shop and sells his art locally and abroad.

Fabric Painting Artist : Mithrasila Kuruppu
I really think it’s the village that stole my heart and stoked my imagination, maybe yours as well. I walked into a small furniture shop in my neighborhood. A young woman in her late twenties was sitting at a desk, reading a college-level physics text book in English, just like I was doing 20 years earlier. I was very surprised; she was working at the shop and studying at University at the same time. We struck up a conversation and I learned that she was the only daughter of a single mother from the village. Her dream was to study in university and to be a chemist. Her family lives in the village and they had no money for her to go university, but she never gave up her dream. Her smile and happy spirit inspired and encouraged me. I felt strongly to take action to help her. We searched the internet about fabric painting methods and procedures, and teamed up with the village fabric weaving shop to produce local painted products of all kinds. All the beautiful fabric painted bed covers and curtains in the villa are designed and painted by her.
She is now studying chemistry in her third year. We engaged with a team of village woman to develop the community creative arts to allow them to earn money to improve their situation and to help fulfill their dreams.

Beautician : Thushari Thakshila
Every afternoon around 3 pm, I can hear the theme music from the classic movie “The Godfather? coming from a three wheeled vehicle, first from far away approaching the villa until it stops outside the gate. I know that the breadman - Saman Wasantha - is here to sell his many varieties of snacks, savoury and sweet. Most of them contain either coconut, lentils or spicy curry. He told me about his daughter – Thushari Thakshila – who wants to be a mathematics teacher. As a father he is working hard to help her to fulfill her dream but it is not easy because each item he sells only earns him 2 Rps. He was so proud of his beautiful daughter but also concerned about how he could help her to achieve her goal. I showed him our villa's library and said that she was welcome to come and browse.
The next day, a pretty girl came to the villa and introduced herself to me. That was the first time I met Thushari. She asked if she could go inside the villa to stay a few minutes to read books in the villa’s library. She ended up staying for hours and since that day, every weekend she comes to read and talk about math and science.