Housed in the former office space of the world renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, The Gallery Café, as it’s name suggests, houses the first Paradise Road Galleries space. It was an agreement between Paradise Road Chairman Udayshanth Fernando and Bawa that the space be used to display art. In addition to monthly exhibitions, Paradise Road Galleries now presents portfolios online, exhibition at different spaces and mentors young artists. The Gallery Café remains the core exhibition space of the establishment where many of the islands leading artists have held their very first exhibitions as young artists after being identified for their talents by Fernando.
As the works in the space are hung both at the entrance of the building and also within the lounge bar area it has been an essential part of the curatorial process that the works fall in line with the Paradise Road aesthetic. Several works within the space that are permanently installed are commissioned pieces by Fernando. These artists works include Prageeth Manohansa outdoor sculptural works in the central pond between the pavilion and the bar area as well as at the far end of the pavilion. A figurative verdigris copper sculpture by artist Pathmal Yahampath greets guests on the left side of the entrance courtyard. While original Lionel Wendt photographs were placed in the male and female washroom these were recently taken into Fernando’s private gallery and replaced with editions prints of Wendt photographs. Other artists featured include Chamila Gamage and Sarath Chandrajeeva.