Searching for my mother 1983-1989


Performance : Degambadage Dona Chathuri Nissansala Jayasiriwardena
written in sinhala and tamil script


The work begins around 2017 to understand socio-political enigmas within Sri Lanka after the post war euphoria ending; people and their ideals of marginalization again. Then for what did a war occur and ended, what achievement if one returns to the same ideals?

With an urge to understand the notion of an “ideal women”, moved into the character of “mother”. The work revolves around the abstract notion of “mother”, my own mother being as a window of revisiting these notions, history as well as present situation of thought process. The years of 1983 to 1989, a time period of violence, disputes, genocides to open market policies, migration labor endorsements followed within a period.

The first rediscovery of creating a dialogue occurs upon the identity, my own identity in an unknown land how does the role of identity play.

Degambadage Dona Chathuri Nissansala Jayasiriwardena – HH art studios body workshop performance

The performance carried within the duration of 6 hours. The space that was taken is a hexagonal location that has resonance of colonial architecture as well as Kandyan architecture that exists in Sri Lanka. Writing my name with Sinhala and Tamil language within the entire space with charcoal on paper.

The work converse upon the identity and 30 years resonance of civil war that occurred on the basis of Language. Identity fragmentation, individual’s identity becoming alienated and displacement.

In front of the entrance contains an affidavit of my name in many forms , legalized by the Sri Lankan high court , that I’m the same person with multiple variations of single name . It was also a protest form of art considering the misconduct occurred about my identity .

“There were new questions arise upon identity. The departure of the identity of mother; molded into identities of mother tongue, motherland, mother fighter. Shifting and replacing new boundaries upon the character within the four walls and within the walls of country”