Malathie de Silva is primarily a carver in stone and wood but also works in ceramic, wax and metal casts. She creates unique, hand-carved stone sculptures using a myriad of different stones and woods and her work, and mixed media with wax, often takes on a surrealist bent.

Having practised art for 40 years, she has worked in ceramic sculpture for 7 of those: her ceramic sculptures evoke Buddhism, Alice in Wonderland and the natural world. Her birthplace of Sri Lanka, with its indigenous and residual colonial traditions, had a huge impact on the sculptor. Born into a Sinhala Buddhist family, she studied sculpture in Prague and was there in time for the ill-fated Prague Spring of 1968.

As her homeland spiralled towards civil war, her concerns undoubtedly became more politicised and, during the imposition of Soviet rule in Prague in 1971, she was labelled a dissident with her work destroyed. She returned to Sri Lanka, and developed her own studio and bronze foundry there for many years, before coming to the UK in 1983, where she eventually settled with her British partner. It was here that she worked as studio assistant to celebrated sculptor, and Venice Biennale winner, Lynn Chadwick in Stroud.

Eventually Malathie found the solace of the Bussey Building, and was able to turn again to her love of sculpture. Every piece she creates here is handworked and unique. She also teaches sculptural ceramics and wood carving at Thomas Calton Centre in Peckham, and has exhibited work in October Gallery, the Menier, Pall Mall Galleries, the South London Gallery, the Garden Gallery, Greenwich and CGP gallery in London.