Barefoot Gallery Colombo

The Barefoot Gallery Colombo serves as a platform for artists, musicians, poets and filmmakers. The space is used in a variety of ways: exhibitions by local and foreign artists and photographers, (including The World Press Photo) concerts, poetry readings, film nights and theatre. The café on its premises hosts private dinners and parties at night and is home to Colombo’s most popular pub quiz.

After a hiatus, it reopened in 1991 as “Gallery 706 Colombo” and was the first commercial art gallery in Sri Lanka. The salon type atmosphere prevailed and Gallery 706 hosted a number of exhibitions in the 1990’s by artists such as Jagath Weerasinghe, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Anoli Perera, and Muhanned Cader. It also presented exhibitions of work by visitors, either those living temporarily in the island or others just passing through. Three notable exhibitions were a retrospective by George Classen in 1993, an exhibition of acrylics on paper by Ivan Peries in 1996, both were members of the illustrious 43 Group that was founded by Lionel Wendt in 1943; And, a comprehensive exhibition of Lionel Wendt photographs that went up for view and sale – a request from the owners of the collection that the directors of Gallery 706 were happy to oblige. 150 pictures were selected from a substantial 600.

In 1999 came further expansion and the gallery moved into a new building, and the name changed to Barefoot Gallery Colombo to consolidate all of Barefoot’s different activities under one umbrella. Artists that came on board and exhibit regularly with us are: Alex Stewart, Barbara Sansoni and the designers at Barefoot, photographer Dominic Sansoni, Druvinka, Josephine Balakrishnan, Laki Senanayake, Mahen Chanmugum, Nelun Harasgama, and Neville and Sybil Weereratne.

The responsibility of the gallery is to ensure that the work that is shown under its auspices is genuine, well executed and interesting. In this way, Barefoot helps cultivate the arts.

current exhibition:

Menacing Landscapes by Prasad Hettiarachchi

"In the magical waters of Prasad Hettiarachchi everything holds to narrate and make us lose ourselves in these stories, where everything holds together… beyond any human law.”

- Alessandra Orlando Ghezzi
Painter and art historian

Prasad is interested in the nature of urban growth and development and its impact on the people of Colombo. Prasad’s works include carvings, paintings and sculptures.


    A new collection of works Layla Gonaduwa

    The body of work is shaped by the current political, socio-economic climate in Sri Lanka. Within the framework of a typical Sri Lankan landscape, Layla intervenes subtly and quietly through material usage and symbolism; whilst observing, questioning and challenging our psyche. She has stayed away from conceptualizing and has instead introduced simple poetic jot downs diarized alongside the collection.

    “Together we form a necessary paradox. Not a senseless contradiction” - Criss Jami


    Talking Walls II by Nalin Indrasena

    Nalin creates his abstract expressionist work using a cold wax medium with oil paint, pigment bars, solvents and
    much more to achieve a unique richness to the surface. Though cold wax was used in ancient times, cold wax, and the
    process of using cold wax as a painting medium remains relatively uncommon to most regions of the world today.