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:

Visual Paraphrases by Prof. Sarath Chandrajeewa

We are pleased to announce our newest exhibition - "Visual Paraphrases"by Professor Sarath Chandrajeewa.The exhibition will open on the 24th of November and will remain open until the10th of December."I believe Visually Grounded Paraphrases (VGPs) have transformed a single visual concept capable of eliciting diverse emotions. On the visual plane of expression, this is an intuitively uncomplicated juxtaposition of various sensuous forms, shapes, texture, colours and lines. These exercises are a test for my senses and emotions. They implant personal, cultural, social and political incidents in my mind. These are attempts to express those feelings through the visual art medium. A principle which dominates my compositions is the concept of sectional space."   -Sarath Chandrajeewa


    Memory Wall by Chamila Gamage

    “Memory Wall” symbolises a conceptual representation of collective memories tied to significant events. In this case, the 2004 Tsunami, the 30-year Civil War, and the 2019 Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka. Rather than a tangible barricade, this “Memory Wall” acts as a symbol for commemorating local narratives, and experiences, through art.Each artwork contributes to the larger narrative of how these events impacted individuals and society. For those visiting the exhibition, this wall of memories becomes a platform for retrospection, offering insights into the past, contemplation of the present, and of what lies ahead.In essence, “Memory Wall” is a concept that represents the idea that memories are like bricks, building the wall of our collective history and identity. It provides a powerful and evocative way to explore and remember significant events and their lasting effects.Chamila Gamage