Maps are a strategic tool to gain control of land. During the 18th century, the Dutch played a critical role in the development of Sri Lanka. They mapped the lands, renaming places, changing identities, shaping the country in their own legacy.
Pala Pothupitiye’s exhibition Sri Sri Lanka is a collection of crafted maps and sculptures that express the artists inquisition into the country’s history. He believes that the independent country should recreate itself with their own system of knowledge and bring back the ancestry passed on from their forebearers.
Mannar Fort was built by the Portuguese, captured by the Dutch and then the British. The painting ‘Mannar Fort’ is a redone version of the fort, showing the artist’s desire to reshape what is now their home. The painting expresses the history of the country and the major religious elements. The map itself is detailed out with scale, elevations and plans of structures. The black pen pattern visually unites the otherwise distinct components.