18 May, 2024


Events: Colours Of Change – Sri Lanka

An exhibition of photographs by Stephen Champion

18 April – 22 June 2013

The exhibition ‘Colours of Change’ illustrates and catalogues the rapid changes that have taken place during the last 28 years that Stephen has been photographing Sri Lanka. From the delicate co operation between villager and nature taken from his book ‘Dharmadeepa’, published in 2009, to the brutality of war in ‘Sri Lanka War Stories’ published in 2008 and the post war culture of construction and shifting landscapes in his latest work, ‘Colours of Change’.

Immitation flowers, Jaffna 2011

The exhibition examines the spectacle of past and present, wartime and peaceful times and the evolving image that is beginning to create the landscape of tomorrow. Stephen’s work changes as it passes through three decades, creating a flow of thoughtful imagery and a document of our time. ‘Colours of Change’ celebrates the conscience of the independently minded and free. It is dedicated in part to all those who provoke truth and knowledge. Stephen’s books and exhibitions draw on the traditions of visual storytelling where the photographs, silent as they are, actually explode with narrative. This is the trademark of his photographic expression and the essence of his image.

Patient at prosthetic limb replacement centre, Killinochchi 2004

The photographs in ‘Sri Lanka War Stories’ lend voices to the oppressed. In ‘Dharmadeepa’ the passing of time and place is observed, where places, traditions and landscapes are only remembered in the recording of time, as they change, reform and disappear. In ‘Colours of Change’ tomorrow’s new urban, hybrid village is born and change like never before is embraced.

“These s e n s i t i v i t i es  resonate much interest from within the intellectual world of the villager and urban dweller alike as they attempt to co-exist in an increasingly competitive and urban environment. In the prevailing time of global greed and inequality, I share this work ‘Colours of Change’ in order to promote dignity and understanding within all communities and to encourage others to respect our collective fragility.”

Stephen Champion, 2013


Stephen Champion is a freelance photographer based in London. From 1986 he developed new works in Sri Lanka, creating several exhibitions, in 1993 his first book, Lanka 1986-1992, was published in the UK. His photographs have appeared internationally in magazines, academic research papers, newspapers and films. Champion has been a visiting lecturer at several UK universities and his work is retained in both public and private collections.

Reservoir, near Nalanda 2002



OPEN: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 17.00 (Thurs late night opening until 20.00)                                                           

CLOSED: Sunday, Monday, and Bank Holidays                                                                                         ADMISSION FREE               

T. 020 7898 4046 (recorded information)

LONDON, WC1H 0XG        E. gallery@soas.ac.uk

For more information visit:   www.soas.ac.uk/gallery


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Latest comments

  • 0

    What a relief to see conceptual photography with a soul.. that speaks to the aesthetics of lived realities,. the poetics and politics of every day life and its textures. Looking forward to this exhibition

    I am so tired of the stale and banal wildlife and landscape genre of photography that is the norm in Sri Lanka. Nihal Fernando of Studio Times a wonderful photographer explored and exhausted that genre long ago, and all after him with a few exceptions like Dominic Sansoni have been boring imitators — lacking any imagination or soul..

    Steven Champion’s work is a welcome contrast and change which one hopes will invite imitators and innovators with the lens.

    • 0

      Yes indeed am also fed up of the thousands of leopard and elephant shots and the soft focus romance with the juggle by the Colombo “in crowd” who pretend to love the environment, but drive thousands of kilometers in huge gas guzzling sports SUVs in Yala, Wilpattu etc to take a few predictable, pathetic shots of leopard or peacock while polluting the environment..
      This is the favorite past-time of the empty headed Sri Lanka new and old rich – hi-tech cameras and gas guzzling SUVs… goes well with the values of conspicuous consumption and environmental degradation for “development” cultivated by the uneducated Rajapassa Brothers.
      Just check out Hambantota stripped on all green – a wasteland and environmental disaster zone – a model of how NOT to do development!

  • 0

    I’m flattered by the comments, but I think you will find much to like about Sansoni’s work, which is v important, if you dig deep. stephen

  • 0

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