Traces of the land inspire Natimuk photographer

A DREAM of one day having a pilot's licence continues to inspire Natimuk photographer Melissa Powell's aerial work.

Powell will debut her first solo exhibition in a public gallery tonight at 7pm in Horsham Regional Art Gallery.

The award-winning photographer's 'Vestige' show is a survey of 24 new and past aerial photography works.

The images include Wimmera and New South Wales agricultural landscapes.

Powell said she loved the adrenalin of being in an aeroplane.

"I like being able to see the big picture and I suppose I photograph the paintings in the land," she said.

"I can't paint myself, so it's satisfying to just capture it.

"It gives me a chance to combine my knowledge of the seasons, colours and light.

"I can combine what I have learnt over the years from my commercial work and put it into something beautiful."

Powell said her new work was more subtle than her older images.

"There is quite a difference between the old and new photographs," she said.

"In the past I used a lot of bright colours and pictures of crops.

"Some might say my newer ones are a little bit empty, but they are full of history.

"I did more images of fallow paddocks with traces on the land or evidence of what had been cropped from the year before.

"The NSW Forbes farming area had more pasture and stock and the earth is quite orange and rusty.

"I thought I would go further afield to see what I would find."

Powell's exhibition continues until December 9.

This year Powell was also a finalist for the third consecutive year in a Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery Outback Open Art Prize.

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