With a love for nature, art and, most importantly, giraffes – artist Gayani Ariyaratne has been in her element painting a sculpture for Worcester Stands Tall.
Originally from Sri Lanka, the 49-year-old artist – who now lives in Birmingham – has decorated an 8ft tall giraffe for this summer’s art trail.
Her sculpture, An Outstanding Source, is jointly sponsored by The Hopmarket Charity, Fisher German and Fortis Living. Find out more about Gayani in our Q&A below:
How do you feel to be a part of this project?
I feel really privileged to take part in Worcester Stands Tall as I love giraffes and Worcester. It’s one of my favourite places and I am a charity fundraiser, so it’s nice to do this project for St Richard’s Hospice.
Have you painted a sculpture for a Wild in Art trail before?
Yes, I painted a sun bear for The Big Sleuth Birmingham.
Tell me a little bit about your background as an artist
I have been an artist since early age as my father is an artist/sculptor. I studied art for O Level and A Level, and went to a university of visual and performing arts. I also studied for a Multidisciplinary Design Major. I studied multimedia textile design at Loughborough College of Art and Design. In between, I work as mural artist and glass painter/crafter producing painted glassware. I have done a one-man art exhibition in Sri Lanka.
How would you describe your work?
My work is inspired by nature. I am a keen gardener and small grower of British cut flowers. Most of my paintings are nature related and educational – for example, I paint lot of plant materials related to spices and herbs creating an awareness of healthy living through my other day job as a chef. Since I was little, I was curious of where ingredients come from and how they grow.
What has it been like decorating an 8ft tall giraffe?
It has been an amazing experience painting the giraffe! I’ve made a ‘talk of the town’ sort of impression already where I live. Everyone was curious!
What are you most excited about for the art trail this summer?
Meeting everyone, launching, seeing the other artists’ work, the public display and the auction! I’m very much looking forward to raise much needed funds for St Richard’s Hospice too.