‘Bohemian Atelier at the Colombo Art Gallery | Sunday Observer

‘Bohemian Atelier at the Colombo Art Gallery

15 August, 2021

August 19, 2021

Artistic | Relaxed | Liberated

The second art exhibition to take place at the Colombo Art Gallery is an amalgamation of colour, culture, and lasting vibrancy.

Adaptations of ‘Boho’ as a style have trickled down into interiors, art, fashion, and more; all of which are distinct categories available at Gandhara Street.

Much meaning has been given to the word Bohemian over the years, and most of it revolves around unconventional lifestyles having musical, artistic, literary, and spiritual pursuits.

It is a highly expressive style, that is devoid of conformity and signifies free spirit. Over 200 years ago, ‘Bohemian’ specifically referred to an exotic and eccentric sense of style amongst creative human beings.

Nihal Senaratne’s “Bohemian Atelier” is a feast for the eyes. Art has always been an indulgent feast, but it is also relative to the eye of the beholder.

In the case of this upcoming exhibit, the vibrancy deems it a feast regardless of one’s personal taste; showcasing unorthodox methods mixed with colourful ingenuity.


The artist himself is a revelation, as his craft was born out of something much more than passion. Having survived a plethora of trials and tribulations as a child, his discovery into the world he currently inhabits came about by chance, when attending art therapy sessions.

In a world that tests our will to live, finding an outlet that creates magic for oneself and others is truly a blessing. Nihal Senaratne paints on canvas as well as recycled paper, and his drawing abilities have developed through natural progression paired with vivid imagination.

‘I am mostly self-taught, and learning to explore my imagination has contributed to this style of the art’, it is evident when looking at his work that there is a variation of distinct styles and approaches.

‘I like line drawings, calligraphy, and abstract art but I experiment with all styles of painting. I go for what makes me happy, and this is purely influenced by the mood and situation’, it is apparent that Nihal does not ever conform but endlessly explores.

He mixes mediums, such as water colours with ink on acrylic and even beeswax to create interesting textures.

The artist’s novel methods to portray Bohemian Art is merely an accentuation to the authentic core, which is Bohemian style itself.

The epitome of laid-back and uninhibited, ‘Bohemian’ brings with it a rich tapestry of ethnic cultures. There are many geographically dispersed cultures that have contributed to this style, but our neighbouring country India is a key contributor.

Vibrant colours and intricate patterns encapsulating Indian culture along with their sacred metals have become symbolic of some of Nihal’s art.


‘I am inspired by the eroticism and use of mixed media by Gustav Klimt, the vibrant idiosyncratic style of Niki de Saint Phalle, Chinese Calligraphy and Indian Folk Art’, apart from these the artist draws inspiration from the works of other artists in Europe and Asia by means of the internet.

At a time where hope is scarce and lives are at risk, the Colombo Art Gallery is aspiring to bring some colour and love to the minds of all attending while adhering to Government regulations and stringent safety measures.

Dian Gomes has long been a benefactor of talented artisans, and most recently a patron of the 2020 Group based at Colombo Art Gallery.

His taste is varied but his passion is focused, and the art that surrounds this legend within the spaces that he has created is a celebration that must be witnessed.

“Bohemian Atelier” is eagerly anticipated for its promise of colour which almost borders on psychedelia.

As the artist said, “It stems from my imagination and delusions”, and this imagination on canvas is a sight we want to savour.

The Colombo Art Gallery invites you to experience what art has done since the beginning of time; escape reality and bask in a world of possibility.