Updated: May 29, 2022
Who would have guessed that a software engineer student from Sri Lanka would become an award-winning artist not only locally but also internationally? Uditha Prabhahsa Dharmarathna, now a 23-year-old, from Ratnapura in Sri Lanka started his photography journey at 17 and is now a talented award-winning artist and the recent winner of the Picture People’s #FutureInFocusMobile Phone Photo Contest.
Ironically, Uditha’s photography hobby started when his older brother said, “Google is your friend” and from that point on Uditha taught himself about photography using an old phone and searching on Google and YouTube. All this learning in turn boosted the raw artistic talent and creativity that was already inside of him.
Uditha followed his uncle’s steps and started finding inspiration in his surroundings. He discovered his own voice through his photos, where he captures emotions, nature, and feelings.
“When I was 17 years old, I started making photographs using my phone. My uncle is my #1 inspiration. My family and friends are really supportive.”
One of his biggest achievements is his current exhibition, entitled “Untold Stories” about child abuse.
Uditha declares he never wanted to be just a photographer but instead always wanted to be an artist/storyteller as well and that’s how this current project started. He researched about child abuse and decided he needed to show this reality. That’s why he created “Against it” – the photo that won the ‘Special Recognition’ category from Pictures People’s mobile phone contest.
“Untold Stories are the stories that people always want to hide because of the fear and shame, and I think that those stories should be told”.
Through “Untold Stories” Uditha aims to share the dark sides of childhood and child abuse and raise awareness about these issues. He believes every child deserves a bright future no matter where they are born or where they live. He also feels passionate about the fact that there are not enough platforms to educate people about child abuse. Moreover, children are often afraid to talk about their abusive situations and often hide their feelings and emotions. It is a never-ending situation, and he firmly believes that we need to create a better world for them.
“We need to create awareness in society, discuss openly and stand against social injustices like child abuse”
All proceeds from this photo exhibition will be donated to the welfare of selected children, and for essential equipment for the new school term.
In terms of future projects, Uditha mentions:
“I’m planning to create a portfo about transgender people. It is a major topic nowadays, and we don’t talk enough about it. Every human being has equal rights to live. I also hope to publish a book using my photographs about human life, human rights and nature.”
There is no doubt Uditha is a great storyteller, and we look forward to following his artistic journey.
If you would like to learn more about ‘Untold Stories’ and Uditha’s art, do visit him on Facebook.
Also, keep an eye on our social media channels to learn more about hidden talents like Uditha.