Sometime in the mid 70’s, fresh from Central School of Art, a young girl walked into my office to show me her hand-painted textiles. She wore grey men’s pyjamas and one of her own silk scarves. We immediately connected – I love all makers who are true to themselves. Anoma was an outsider who crossed cultures and was honest about herself and her work. We kept in touch over the years and when I wished to go to Sri Lanka she helped me plan my journey. The country was coming to the end of a thirty year war and was not perhaps on everyone’s holiday list. The trip, however, has stayed with me all my life. It was truly magical.
Looking through Anoma’s beautiful book brings back memories of my time in Sri Lanka. As well as her arresting paintings I am drawn to the wonderful archive of photographs that record her journey.