Since writing this I have moved all of Bhikkhu Sumedha’s teaching and paintings to a new site specially for his work, see: Bhikkhu Sumedha – His Teaching and Paintings
Last week I announced the publication of a new website featuring a dozen of the books of Henri van Zeyst on Theravāda Buddhism.
When those works were first passed to me they were lacking covers; but a cover, if it is attractive, can stimulate people to look at the contents inside, so I wanted to find some good covers.
I therefore got permission from Bhikkhu Sumedha’s adopted son, Jagath Wijesiri, to use some of Bhante’s paintings for the covers.
We had previously used his paintings for the cover and insets in a book I edited of his teachings: A Buddhist Perspective on Pain, Illness and Stress.
I had also been passed photographs of more than 200 of his paintings by Jagath, and at the same I asked for, and received permission to publish those on the Photo Dharma website.
Bhikkhu Sumedha himself was a celebrated artist in the 60s and 70s, having studios in Vienna and London, before he renounced his status and came to Sri Lanka at the end of the 70s.
He had never stopped painting though, and his works reflected his abstract and surrealistic past work, vibrant at times, and dark and foreboding at other times, and one often has the sense of looking into a narrative frozen and captured on canvas.
Out of the more than 200 photographs that were passed to me I chose 152 eventually, a very high percentage, to appear on the page, and as they have no titles, I have arranged them first by the books in which they have appeared, then by colour, style and the last few show some outlines that he seemingly never completed.