A musician, photographer, critic and cinematographer, Lionel Wendt was trained as a lawyer and pianist in England. An early pioneer of photography, which he took up formally in the 1930s, Wendt experimented with photograms, photomontage, double printing and solarisation. Although his work was lost and forgotten for decades after his death, his contribution to the development of the arts in Sri Lanka is significant. He was a main inspiration for the formation of 43 Group, as association of like-minded artists, whose meetings were often held in his house, now known as the Lionel Wendt Centre for the Arts.
Wendt’s practice is marked by richness and diversity, and the studied aesthetic values of the human body. These original silver gelatin prints are composed mostly of portraits of everyday life in Sri Lanka as well as events and encounters with mythologised figures and beings.