You would think that one little place would be less than likely to exude the extraordinarily abundant aspects of cultures; of depicted journeys into the unknown; of records dating back centuries; of creatures mythical and existent… and yet under this haven of unique refuge we find their hermitage.
Words Sonali Kadurugamuwa Photographs Damith Wickramasinghe
Lifelong friends and lovers of the arts, Safiya and Yasmin travel extensively to India and Southeast Asia in search of true rarities in art, antiques and collectables. Their personal anthologies include pieces of Asian art and both, actual and replicated artefacts, furniture,historic documents; centuries old maps, picture postcards, photographs and an assortment of arts that may define the heart songs of eager, devoted and most discerning of collectors.
Many of the pieces featured at Hermitage are one of a kind, and according to both Safiya and Yasmin, probably could not be found anywhere else, as “we find each of these items alongside our travels, in places that most people won’t expect to find them and usually there is only one like it. That’s exactly what we’re after.”
Cultural pieces such as beds from Indonesia, mediums of inscription carved into wood, rustic medicine
cupboards, printing presses, cart tables converted from actual and ancient animal driven carts brought down from aged alleyways of India are some of the fascinating artifacts that could be found at Hermitage. Hand crafted door frames that were once part of traditional houses, buildings from as far as Gujarat offer a glimpse into the exotic.
Stone figurines in the garden, silver jewellery at the foyer, ceramic foot warmers of colonial Englishmen, elephants carved from hibiscus root, ancient China artifacts encased in the cabinets, centerpieces that were once door frames, wooden tables, chairs, dressers that were once doors, line the corridors offer a world filled with unprecedented choices.
As the cool air seeps in, the sweet smell of the many ages parade the atmosphere at Hermitage.Two hearts captivated by the magnificence of rich culture and heritage still seek with no end to their journeys that delve into the mysteries of antiquity, in a way mirroring the treasures that they hold dear in this little sanctuary.
A certain presence is felt wrapped in the warmth of the timeless pieces of art. Here at Hermitage, the enchantment is most certainly priceless.
28 Gower Street, Colombo 5
Tel: (+94 11) 250 2196