The Renaissance Mom

Bursting forth with spontaneity, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is constantly in search of an opportunity to create and transform the mundane into a marvel of art, says Divya Menon

Sometime in 2015, revelers at the after-party on the opening night of a high profile exhibition in Singapore featuring international artists vandalised several exhibits. They hammered a giant hole into a wall in the exhibition hall next to the painting by a young Indian artist. Early next morning, the sprightly young lady walked up to her painting and using merely a scraper and three bottles of black, white and red colour, transformed the hole into a huge cityscape, The talent to transform any object or situation into a marvel of art; the ability to find art in the strangest of places and times – Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad epitomises all this and more. Bursting forth with spontaneity, she is constantly in search of an opportunity to create. She calls herself a ‘restless soul’. This is not the story of the archetypal rebel, but of an artist who carries many ironies within her. She is a dreamer but not delusory; sophisticated yet simple. This story is pegged around the beauty of the ordinary, the ordeals born in the prosaic, the irony of inspiration and needless to say, the battles within and without of an artist who is a multi-dimensional artistic prodigy!  

Oormila is a self-taught artist born and raised in Kuwait where she lived until 1995, five years past the Iraqi invasion of 1990 that the family survived. She went on to pursue a Masters Degree in English from Delhi University. A whirlwind romance and marriage to Vivek, a Bengaluru based software architect by profession, musician by passion, landed her in Bengaluru, India’s silicon city where she lived for eight years before moving over to Singapore. She is currently settled in New South Wales with her husband and two children. Having started painting at the age of two, her tryst with art spans over two decades now and the years have been eventful; the journey, a chronicle of acceptance and rejection alike! When she first started exhibiting it was discrimination that welcomed her since she was self-taught and carried no art degrees at all. This was one of her greatest challenges. But with no such thing as giving up in her dictionary, she persisted for eight years before moving on to Singapore where she was embraced warmly into the art fraternity purely on the merit of her works. At the time, her children were small and this pushed her into a hiatus.  But for how long can the creative urge remain shackled and she felt the urge and need to indulge in more serious management of her passion and that is when she registered the Oormila Creative Studio in Singapore in 2014. Meanwhile, she continued to sharpen her skills through constant effort and today, she is a regular at most art shows she applies to despite the lack of a professional art degree.

So what does she paint? In one simple word, she paints the mundane – scenes from life’s fleeting moments, objects, birds, animals, clouds, mountains and so many more common place subjects. She has also painted some grave subjects like burning oil wells, scenes of war destruction captured by her mind as a young girl en route out of Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion.

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