Achala Wali’s works unfold through hand-drawn layers of graphite, ink, and related media. She is inspired by scenes in the natural world - the form of ice breaking over the lake, shadows of the eclipse and industrial rust - translated into abstract forms. Early travels to India - Achala’s birthplace - fomented a deeper conceptual engagement with Indian temple architecture and art. These visits were enriched by stories of Indian mythology and her parent’s personal recollections. Living abroad in Europe and even in the United States was eye-opening – and a source of indelible, transformational experiences. Achala’s work reflects a deep respect for the natural beauty of the world.
A series, often thematically connected, begin as ideas and notations in sketchbooks. From free form linear structures the works organically develop by adding layers in strata. One pattern gives rise to the next layer - creating a sense of energy in a particular direction, or, in contrast, suspended movement - evoking a unique mood and amorphous spatialization.
Achala’s new exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in 2022, “Surface Densities,” contemplates and visualizes the natural world interpreted through the very physical art of drawing. Personal and generalizable experiences, such as the force of rivers, electromagnetic currents, the teardrop shape of an ear, or the structure of hair tendrils on Greek archaic sculpture inform the images.