Knives in Heaven, 2007, Acralyc on canvas
Celestial Violence is a series of paintings Jagath painted in response to the rising nationalistic fervour he experienced in the country. For him, the island with a so called ‘Buddhist’ majority had experienced cycles of violence which sat at odds with the philosophy of non-violence. Jagath also realise that people try to justify and rationalise this paradox by always invoking narratives of a grand past, heavenly intervention, etc. So the violence, symbolized by the knives that were often used as weapons in riots, became a means to an end – a way of making a heavenly paradise on the island.