I am deeply inspired by the varied and breathtaking landscape of New South Wales, where I live. Before the pandemic, I used to sketch and paint en plein air on the South and Central Coasts. During the period of lockdown in Sydney, I started creating “remembered pieces” based on watercolor studies, notes from my outdoor painting sessions, and photos that I had clicked on my travels. My artistic practice started to move in a new direction. I began to incorporate assorted materials in my work – cloth, paper bits, lace, and thread, experimenting with the possibilities of collage, to create areas of interest within my paintings. Since I was drawing inspiration from scenes and locales where I had painted for years, creating details came easy – the way a wave formed and crashed, how a backlit rock formation looked in different light, the ever changing colours of the Australian outback, the character of the sky at a particular time of the day. Memory became a powerful tool through which my past visual experiences were filtered. I have painted over 80 remembered landscapes in the past year, in different mediums. These six artworks are part of an ongoing series. I hope to go plein air painting once again, when a sense of normalcy and safety returns.
Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is an Indian-Australian artist and poet, who serves as a chief editor for Authora Australis. Her artworks feature in Parentheses Journal, The International Zine Project, and Oyster River Pages, and on the covers of The Amsterdam Quarterly, and Pithead Chapel. Find her @oormilaprahlad and www.instagram.com/oormila_paintings