Sumi Perera


An amalgam of influences of the author’s background working as a doctor, scientist and artist in the East (born in Sri Lanka) and West (living in the UK) is reflected in the artwork exploring the social hieroglyphics that evolve in the manner that humans clothe their bodies.

The work relates to the narrative of a book using this ubiquitous tool to crack the dress code, blurring boundaries between the artist/artisan, orient/occident and the past and present.

Mixed media assemblage techniques combining traditional forms of printmaking are digitally manipulated to transform unique artwork into democratic multiple copies. Often several narratives unfold within the hidden spaces of the book as a detachable spine allows the book to be undressed.

The artist’s work is published and exhibited internationally and held in several private and public collections (in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Germany) including Tate Britain.


MA (Book Arts), 2004, Camberwell College of Arts, London
MPhil, 1996, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
MSc, 1994, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
MBBS, 1983, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


Prizes and awards

  • Prize at the Society of Bookbinders International Competition, 2009
  • Melville Charitable Trust Award (1st prize), 2008
  • Birgit Skiold Award for excellence in Book Arts, London Artists Book Fair, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 25th November 2005
  • Grand Prize at the 1st International Book Arts Competition, Seoul, South Korea, 3-8th June 2005
  • Prize in the Kaleidoscope Hoffmann Challenge, National Quilt Championships, Ascot, July 2001

Work held in public collections

  • Tate Britain
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • PrintROOM – Rotterdam
  • Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts, London
  • Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collection
  • Guanlan Museum, China
  • Grafisk vaerksted-Naestved, Denmark
  • Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
  • British Library

Selected Membership

  • Royal Society of Painters Printmakers (ARE)
  • LOOP
  • ELP
  • Six of One
  • 62 Group
  • New Embroidery Group
  • Printmakers Council
  • Art Society of the Royal Society of Medicine

Curated exhibitions

15 to 1, 1 May – 11 June 2008, School of Art, Media and Design, University of the West of England, Bristol

Selected exhibitions and acquisitions


  • Wonderland, ELP group show, V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London
  • Bending the Line. The Hub National Centre for Craft & Design
  • IMPACT 2009 International Printmaking Conference, Centre for Fine Printmaking Research, University of West England, Bristol
  • Society of Bookbinders International Conference, Warwick University
  • Thoroughly Modern Dora, Willesden Green Library
  • Unsuppressed, SuperPress at Bristol School of Art & Design, UWE
  • ELEVEN, ELP group show, Bankside Gallery, London
  • British Sari Story, Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington, London
  • Moving Patterns, Royal Geographic Society, Kensington Gore, London
  • NINEPRINTMAKERS, Riverside Studios
  • LOOP 2009, Redchurch Gallery, London
  • Royal Society of Painters-Printmakers Annual Exhibition, Bankside Gallery
  • Place, Identity & Memory, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries,Scotland
  • Wonderland, ELP group show, The Brothers Grimm Museum, Kassel, Germany
  • BABE 09, Arnolfini, Bristol
  • 5th International Artist Book Triennial, touring show, Vilnius then Seoul, Leipzig Book Fair, Vilnius
  • 7th British International Mini Print Exhibition, London Print Studio
  • 11th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, Parkinson Court, Univ. of Leeds
  • COMPILATION:Three Exhibitions on Books, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  • Bookends. Target Gallery & Pyramid Atlantic Art Centre, USA


  • A Book For A Lifetime. Artspace & Goethe-Zentrum, Cyprus
  • Liverpool Artist Bookfair. Wolstenholme Projects. Liverpool
  • Urban Jungle. City Hall, Chamber Lobby, London
  • 10th Biennial Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair & Conference, USA
  • British Sari Story. Charnwood Museum, Loughborough, Leicestershire
  • EdgeCentrics: Williamson Tunnels. Heritage Centre, Liverpool
  • LOOP 2008. Menier Gallery, London
  • International Print Exhibition,.Yunnan, China
  • Presence of Place. The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven Cumbria
  • Bookmarks VI. Infiltrating Europe & the USA
  • The Knitting & Stitching Show. Touring UK: NEC Birmingham, Alexandra Palace, RDS, Dublin & Harrogate International Centre
  • Vox Box. The Gallery, St George’s Hospital
  • Surrey Open Artists’ Studio, Ochre Print Studio, Guildford
  • Carbon Footprint. Art Fellowship Challenge Exhibition. Lloyd Park Theatre
  • LOOP 2008. Menier Gallery, London
  • 5th International Book & Paper Arts Triennial. Columbia College, Chicago
  • Wonderland, ELP group show, Fairytale Museum, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
  • 28th MiniPrint International of Cadaque. Girona, Spain
  • 7th Miniprint Annual, Lessedra, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Press & Release. Phoenix Gallery, Brighton
  • DeCarbonART. City Hall, Chamber Lobby, London
  • SHELTER. Boston Book Arts. Wedeman Gallery, Lasell College, Newton, MA. USA
  • ELP Box 2008 Broadway Bookshop
  • Glasgow International Artist Bookfair, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
  • ScissorPaperStone. London Print Studio. Harrow Road, London
  • Sitting Room. an exhibition of artists books. Touring show. K Gallery of Rhythmix Cultural Works, Alameda, California then Mexico City
  • SMALL PRINT/Big Impression. Touring Show Gainsborough House, Sudbury, Suffolk
  • Solo Showcase Arnolfini.Bristol Bookshop
  • Book to Book. Leeds Art Gallery
  • 11th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, Parkinson Court, University of Leeds
  • The Medical Art Society Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
  • Originals ’08 Mall Galleries, London
  • I AM TEN, ELP group show, Bankside Gallery, London
  • artist’s books at the Arnolfini Bookshop
  • Nine Printmakers Riverside Gallery, Hammersmith, London 1st-29th February


  • Tetovo 2007, 4th International Biennial Mini Prints Exhibition, Museum of Tetovo, Republic of Macedonia
  • Freedom. Abolition of Slavery, University of Sunderland
  • London Artists Bookfair 07, ICA, London
  • Babylon Lexicon/Nola Bookfair, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • SMALL PRINT/Big Impression, The Avenue Gallery, University of Northampton
  • Manchester Artist Bookfair, Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Bookmarks V Infiltrating, Japan, UK, Poland, USA, Croatia and New Zealand
  • The British Sari Story, Brent Museum, London
  • Rich and Strange, Flock Gallery Space, Newport School of Art Media and Design and Newport Central Library
  • Society of Bookbinders Conference, University of York
  • Multiple Views. Printmakers’ Council Exhibition, Ropewalk Gallery, Lincolnshire
  • Sitting Room, Bookarts Symposium, Winchester School of Art
  • Abolition 2007, Circular Green, Morley College, London SE1
  • Printmaking Show J:Akebono-so Gallery, Isesaki, Japan
  • Watermarks, Arts+Literature Laboratory, New Haven, CT. USA
  • Suburban Landscape, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Barnet, Herts
  • I Love Print, London Print Studio, Harrow Road
  • Lessedra Miniprint Annual 2007
  • LOOP 2007 Bankside Gallery, London(
  • Loveletter to London, ELP group show, Greater London Authority
  • Wrexham Print International 2007, Wrexham Art Centre & Yale College
  • Regenerator, Altered Books, Off-Centre Gallery, Bristol
  • Bristol Artist Bookfair Event. BABE 2007, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.
  • Nine Printmakers, Riverside Gallery, London
  • 7th Helen Keller International Award Exhibition. Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde Glasgow


  • Sitting Room: an exhibition of artists’ books, Alsager Arts Centre
  • LAB ’06. London Artist Book Fair, ICA London(Perception VI – Acquisition for the Tate Britain Special Collection)
  • Surface and Object. An Origin in Printmaking. Printmakers Council. Morley Gallery. London
  • Bookmarked! Crockatt & Powell Bookshop, Waterloo
  • Babylon Lexicon. Hot Iron Press, New Orleans Bookfair, LA, USA
  • Dream Landings – A Public Art exhibition to celebrate Black History Month, Bedding Department, John Lewis Store, Watford
  • 1st Manchester Artist Book Fair. Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Bookmarks IV – Infiltrating USA, Europe and Australia
  • 4, London Print Studio
  • The Sitting Room, an exhibition of artists books, Manchester Craft & Design Centre
  • 6th British International Miniature Print Exhibition (touring exhibition)
  • 4th International Artist’s Book Exhibition, King St Stephen Museum, Hungary
  • 5th Lessedra World Art Print Annual (Mini), Bulgaria
  • Art of the STITCH 2006 International Biennial Exhibition (touring exhibition)
  • Contemporary Prints by Selected Artists from the Printmakers’ Council, New Arts Centre, Chatham, Kent
  • 9th Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax
  • 60 Square Inches Biennial, Purdue University
  • juxtaBOX, Shoreditch Gallery, London