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Irushi Tennekoon on the Animate Her series

I am an illustrator and experimental animator based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I am also an educator with a background in English studies. I have been teaching English and making art for over a decade and my recent passion is to tell stories through animation. 

I began animating for fun, using my study table and a stopmotion app on my mobile phone. Since then my animation experiments have won awards and been screened in Sri Lanka and abroad in various exhibitions and festivals, including the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka, the Women of the World festival and the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh. 

Currently, I am working with a talented team to create an animated series titled Animate Her. This project is supported by the British Council’s Creating Heroines programme and features a group of exceptional women living and working in Sri Lanka.

Through modes of stopmotion and experimental animation the Animate Her series brings to life the stories of marine biologist Asha de Vos, children’s author and illustrator Sybil Wettasinghe, lawyer and activist Ramani Muttetuwegama, traditional dancer Thaji Dias, architect Amila de Mel, and CEO of her own ICT firm Lakmini Wijesundera.

Through my work I hope to show that here in Sri Lanka, we have our own heroines, with brown skin and dark hair, going to great lengths to excel at what they do. Growing up, I was influenced by western books and animations which featured largely white heroes and heroines. Now that I understand a little better, I wanted to challenge this by telling the stories of our real life heroines and showing a group of women that I would have loved to see on screen as a child.

To see more of my work or to get in touch:





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