fbpx

At home in a new land

Gauri Torgalkar Nadkarni’s art imparts an Indian ethos onto the Australian landscape, writes SALMA SHAH

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gauri Torgalkar Nadkarni’s art imparts an Indian ethos onto the Australian landscape

The artist with her works

That the Australian landscape is diverse and hauntingly beautiful is well known. And that the inhabitants of the land are often defined by the landscape is an inescapable fact. But when a known landscape – with its unique but familiar shapes, colours and textures – is portrayed through the prism of a different human experience, the ordinary transcends the familiar to become strange and new.

Gauri Torgalkar Nadkarni, a Sydney artist of distinction, offers us her latest work, a cohesive collection of pieces with consistent themes, yet each individual in its impression.

Strange Familiar takes the Australian landscape of public parks and waterways and deifies them to create a spiritual reawakening in the mind of the observer. Much like the original inhabitants of the land, who saw the sacredness of the colours and the purity of places in the Australian landscape, the artist has successfully taken the every day, and through the perspective of rites and rituals of the Indian experience, given new meaning to the places we inhabit.

Presented at the North Sydney Centre recently, Torgalkar Nadkarni’s body of work for Strange Familiar, is confident, compelling and evocative. The colours – intimate and recognisable to Indian eyes – take on new hues and shades when seen within the context of this land.

Prayer Flowers

A familiar Australian landscape – a creek, a suburban park – is depicted through the burnt heat haze of summer, rendering the commonplace scene with an evanescent sheen. In layering these landscapes in patterned gold, she at once evokes the signs of her Indian homeland as well as acknowledges the dot painting techniques of the indigenous artists of her new home.

Whether it’s the striking use of saffron and vermillion to depict the Australian sunrise in Surya Namaskar, the purposeful use of shy rose to show the haze of an Australian summer, or the purity of white to demonstrate garlands of chameli, colours become more than just shades – they become testament to the Indian life, lived spiritually.

A gentle and silent eucalypt, with striking white threads tied around it, depicting the rite of wishing for a long life for a husband, or the diyas on the lily pond, are redolent Indian themes placed within an Australian context.

Jacaranda in Spring

Gold, tantalisingly tied in to the landscape in the shape of willow leaves, is used boldly yet creatively, in the same way that it is used for ornamentation in the lives of Indians. Consequently, through the viewing of the space with this lens in place, the land, once again becomes sacred and divine – yet in a completely an unexpected way.

Torgalkar Nadkarni’s latest work is beautiful and compelling. Each piece makes you want to linger and contemplate the impact of our individual existence on the land.

And when you feel the familiar tug of the comforting ritual in a foreign land, you quickly realise that we have always been home, and this is now our home.

And the strange has now become familiar.

- Advertisement -
Previous articleGrowing stronger hair
Next articleWriting or typing?

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Listen to Indian Link’s NEW Travel Podcast

0
  Indian Link's NEW travel podcast- Feel New In NSW is all about travel and especially made for people who love to explore places in...

It’s National Blood Donor Week

0
  It’s National Blood Donor Week. In our new podcast host Ekta Sharma speaks to Canberra‘s Nidhi Kaushik who runs an amazing donation campaign every year....

Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

0
  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Jiva Parthipan’s ‘The River Project‘: And the river flows on

0
  When my family first immigrated to Australia in 1994, it was in Warwick Farm where we first dropped our worn bags and surrendered our...
geeta film

Geeta: Filmmaker Emma Macey-Storch’s close look at acid attack victims

0
  Directed by Emma Macey-Storch, Geeta is a feature documentary about a mother’s resilience to bring change to her daughter’s life after a brutal acid...
cochlear implant india

New opportunities in Indian MedTech following India-Australia trade agreement

0
  With lowered tariffs for medical products after the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AIECTA), Australian products like the AirPhysio and the Cochlear implant...
Shashikant dhotre drawing

Artist Dhotre celebrates his mother in his drawings

0
  For Shashikant Vaman Dhotre, a Solapur school dropout and self-trained artist, his mother Ratan remains the centre of his universe, and also the inspiration...
Dr. Arati Prabhakar

Dr Arati Prabhakar is nominated by Biden to join the US...

0
  US President Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American scientist Dr Arati Prabhakar to the US cabinet as the director of the Office of Science and...