Natasha McDowell

Born: 1986. London, UK.

Lives and Works in Berlin, Germany.

STATEMENT

Visual work is my personal means for understanding, expression and release for that which cannot be described with words: To channel and give form to feelings of immensity and uncertainty–ultimately seeking self-reconciliation.

What emerges as a consequence of such a process is always unpredictable and unexpected, providing further impetus for exploration. To begin: a compulsive need to purge the mounting of information and experience that heaps itself within my body and mind over time. To make sense of it. To dispel or welcome that unfathomable energy.

As I work a hunger is evoked: For deeper understanding of the tangible world, of people, and of things in all their obscurity. An idea of how better to interact with them.

A taste or yearning for connection to the earth, and a conflicting pull towards the hinting of what cannot be seen or grasped. 

This is what I seek to depict by mapping the journey`s obscurity, creating blueprints for a future I cannot know or scoring fragments of the past. 

My current projects condense visceral emotion and energy into compacted, two dimensional planes. Using a variety of media on paper, I draw upon the practice of cartography as a means of mapping real, felt and imagined space. The unpredictable nature of acrylic and water-based materials are balanced with intricately detailed patterns and highly controlled marks to create a sense of aliveness.

I weave between spontaneous gesture, experimentation with color, and the desire to depict something specific that remains persistently elusive–rewarding and frustrating–allowing for endless lines of pursuit. The energy of opposition and conflict is organically suffused into the images. It is in the mistakes that something poignant can occur; in the areas between what is known and unknown that something of intrigue takes shape.

I rely upon intuition and instinct to guide me towards the best mediums and materials. Attempting to plan or devise an image before hand is often futile. Gradually a structure or composition emerges. Drawing, spontaneous mark-making and gesture offer a starting point: it is here that suppressed or lesser felt emotions and curiosities come to the fore and the conscious and sub-conscious minds brush up against one-another

As we create we allow ourselves to play with the nature of disharmony, rather than control or deny it: To teach ourselves how we want to move through the world by baring witness to our own individual blueprint. How do we work with opposing energies and move with these natural conflicts? I sense the potential for depicting something that is both familiar and confounding. To offer the minds eye a variety of directions to take and lines of thought to pursue. The viewer is required to consciously consider what they see and experience. Where one viewer might see a collection of pleasing textures, another senses a dense map of emotion.  

Exhibition

October 2018 “Evolve / Involve”, Group exhibition, The Exhibitionist Hotel, London

October 2018 “Metamorphosis”, Solo Exhibition, ReTramp Gallery, Berlin

Education

2009 BA History of Art and Architecture, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.