Deeshani Fernando is a Sri Lankan Canadian residing in Dundas, Ontario. Fernando’s paintings create an environment that explores her curiosity to have different plant and animal species harmoniously survive together. The artworks mirror alternative realities with diverse forms of nature originating from tropical, dry and polar environments. Fernando chooses natural species from childhood memories and her experiences exploring her local Canadian landscape for her work. As an immigrant to Canada, a form of realizing her new Canadian identity has been learning about all the different natural elements of her local environments through excursions into the Canadian trails, waterfalls, and parks.
The stylistic painting creates a space where a range of life forms can belong and thrive in a comfortable and peaceful environment. The diverse plant and animal species are composed into the painted landscapes to reflect anthropomorphic emotions towards the audience. Each painting depicts different interactions between plant life and animal life. The interactions seen in the artworks are based on human curiosity to learn and know more about each other. Each work always has a balance between the species from diverse origins that can only exist in the paintings themselves. The stylization of the lines, shapes and colours are all carefully coordinated to bring an overall sense of harmony to the variety of plant and animal species in each painting. The mark-making and colour schemes are also carefully designed to unify the tropical, dry and polar species.
The goal of the artworks from the start of choosing a selection of diverse species to the stylistic consideration of colour, line and shape is to convey how different species can meet in one space with mutual respect and understanding for each other’s differences and similarities. Every work created focuses on honouring the diversity of our local geographic environment for audiences to connect and celebrate.