Prairie Rhythms focuses on the landscape of the Manitoban prairie, where Ramachandran grew up, to consider how landscape informs identity, following the assumption that visual perspectives are not simply objective, but lived, embodied and understood within a social and cultural context.
The video includes imagery, captured both on film and digitally, of the prairie landscape in the winter, from Winnipeg and surrounding area, found objects collected over the years from the Manitoban prairie, including dead bees and butterflies, and foliage, as well as objects Ramachandran associates with home; spices, the keys to her childhood house, the china dishes she has inherited, and the trunk full of saris sent from India. The reappearing flickering field of bright blue color comes from a roll of still film photographed out the window of a plane leaving India. Including this imagery of the Indian “air” is a way to include this other location that, while physically far away, has always been very much present in the artist’s home growing up. Yet, appropriately, this blue imagery presents an intangible space; an idea, a color, and a movement instead of a fixed location.
This work acts as a meditation on identity as it is constituted through landscape, but also on the loss and impermanence that are experienced by both land and bodies.