Artist Statement ‘Never Knowing’

18 05 2009

Never Knowing

Initially, I focus purely on photography, using a photograph as the foundation of my eventual concept. This, I feel, enables me to make a strong, bold start, with what could already be considered a piece of art. The photograph acts as a kind of automatic palette, determining the colours, tones & structure of the eventual piece.

When I work in this manner, I treat the photograph more as a stepping-stone, a ‘shortcut’ to the heart of an artistic concept or idea. I don’t believe photography exists solely in the documentary sense, & so it can be manipulated or ‘tampered’ with. This ‘tampering’ may consist of deconstructing the elements of the photograph: scratching away the pigment or using water to de-saturate or dissolve colour & light. This altered image may then provide the blueprint for a purely painted piece or be incorporated into a painting.

Another method is to construct: to ‘build’ on photograph with layers of paint in certain areas where the photographic imagery requires emphasis or enhancement. Sometimes the intention may be to conceal certain aspects of the photograph, to shroud the image or not ‘tell the whole story’. Once this developmental stage is complete, the concept could already be fully realised, the piece fully formed. But more often than not, I will take my ideas & convert these into a painted piece that will be the final result.

Conceptully, my work remains ambiguous until the final stages. It is usually only in looking back that I realise what it is I set out to achieve. My work focuses on death & the memory of loved ones lost. I feel this is key not only to the aesthetic of my work, but also to the work process. This is why i begin with a photograph because I believe the camera acts like the human mind. Taking visual snapshots that document the past, that act as the remaining manifestations of a lost time. The manipulation, I then perform, relates to the distortion of memory, the warping of mental imagery that occurs through the deterioration of time or possibly even through self-deception

Natasha Stockham


Exhibition of my Work (2008)

6 05 2009