Creatives in Residence At Kalukanda House

Nov 24 2023.

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The British Sri Lankan female founder of Kalukanda House in Weligama, Dee Gibson is bringing the inaugural HERA Project X event to Sri Lanka to showcase creative female founders innovating dynamic business ideas on the island. A cross-section of creatives from the worlds of Architecture, Wildlife Photography, Art, Textiles, Travel, Design and hospitality and Artisinal Jewellery will be speaking about their journey into creative work, their driving force and the impressive impact they are having on their communities. Speakers include Selyna Peiris, Melisa Fernando, Thushni De Silva, Sara Alke, Anu Mendis, Aadhitya Jayaseelan, Rachel Chanmugam and Dee Gibson.

This event is for anybody interested in seeing Sri Lankan female founders sharing what they are doing in the creative space. Gibson says “Be excited, inspired and nourished by a curated programme of talks and workshops, mingling and conversation. You will be discovering about the creative arts and what these women are doing to push the boundaries of creativity. After all that calm your mind and body with soothing candlelit yoga and Gong Bath or Cacao Ceremony. You will float home on Cloud 9 and your creative spark will be ignited.”

Wildlife photographer and conservationist Melisa Fernando will be diving into the fascinating world of ethical wildlife photography, animal behaviour and leopard identification. She will explore how people can raise awareness about the critical importance of conserving and protecting Sri Lanka’s forests and wildlife and the support given by her research team to improve livelihoods in the local community.  

Selyna Peiris, a social entrepreneur and Director of Business Development at Selyn will speak about equitable trade and development and about her recent trip to Dutch Design Week and looking at the future of creative industries in Sri Lanka. Aadhita Jayaseelan, the founder of Kayami will take people through an immersive journey into the depths of self-exploration and inner wisdom through the power of centeredness and visualisation.

Sara Nazoo the founder of Alke is a jewellery artist and mental health advocate who will talk about learning more about expressing emotions through shapes, colours and sizes of materials and also how contemporary pieces of jewellery are created.  Thushni de Silva is an explorer and will share her experiences of discovering various aspects of her travel within Sri Lanka. Anurangi Mendis is a faculty member of the City School of Architecture and will talk about her work with Auntyprenuers. Nathali Abeynayake a wellness practitioner will share her wellness experiences.  Rachel Chanmugam will share her life lessons learnt through yoga.

Founder Dee Gibson will host speakers and participants in the new shala and event space Hera’s Garden.   Spread over 3 days, from 28th to 30 November at Kalukanda House in Weligama the interactive daytime talks are sprinkled with workshops and time to mingle, finally being topped off by candle-lit yoga and wellness practices. The event is held by women, for everybody and is billed as food for the creative soul.

Pix courtesy Dee Gibson


Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Deputy Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook,¬†Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno [email protected]


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