Originally from Yorkshire, Natasha Brooks is a local artist based on the Isle of Anglesey. Whilst recently studying a B.A in Fine Art she has increasingly come to use video and photography as means of her expression, although still classes herself as a mixed media artist.
Having extensively travelled over the past decade, she has drawn from her experiences and chooses to focus on the uniting characteristics of humanity that span the globe despite geographical and cultural divides. Because of technological bridges that have been created in the modern world, the chance for connectivity, empathy, and understanding have never been experienced on such a scale before. In this increasingly small world Natasha believes that it is important to focus on unity to tread a sustainable path through our increasingly precarious future.
Natasha chooses to look within, to deeply understand and express the human condition. Her work is highly personal and visceral, placing herself in, and highlighting the fragility of the natural life cycles that encompass all. She often uses water to symbolise the barriers observed between the physical and the spiritual, the internal and external. Her work is influenced by the ideas and works of Marcus Coates, Joseph Beuys, James Turrell and the Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.
Since graduating this year Natasha has exhibited in Cardiff for the Modern Alchemists. She has been selected, and is currently exhibiting for the National Eisteddfod, Llanelli, and will shortly be exhibiting in West Yorkshire. Collectivity is her first solo exhibition.
Language, the thinking on the problem, is a more important sculpture even than the end process existing in tools or in paintings, or in drawings, or in carvings. This transcendent character of information, in an invisible world, gives us at the same time the proof… that we are not only biological beings, material beings, but first spiritual beings, not existing on this planet”
With modern technology, forever at our fingertips, stimulation and bombardment from external forces is ever present meaning that peace and solitude are a rarity. Even when time and space is made for mindfulness and the spiritual, true stillness is fleeting, as we are always catapulted back into our chattering individual selves. I am fascinated with this internal battle, the veil that lies between the internal and external, spiritual and material. Within my work I often use water to symbolise this veil that is temporally permeable. Water has the obvious multi faith connections with spiritual cleansing and baptism. It is completely immersive, all encompassing and has a powerful effect on our physical and mental states. Long distance swimming shuts out the external world and allows me a meditative state. When surfing I find that the speed of action required to harness the waves energy results in a take over of an instinctual reflex, a focus that is so strong it eclipses all other stimuli. In this primeval state, personal energy is so wound up in the energy of the surroundings, the two are harmoniously intertwined. I have also attained elevated states of mind through free diving, not only because the lack of breath, but because of the experience had in the water, the deeper you go, the more ‘other worldly’ it becomes. Whilst the physical pressure felt on all the body makes you extremely aware of your physical self, being surrounded by the beauty of such an expanse of heavy water around and on top of you allows an incomprehensible, yet deep understanding of our fragile personal existence and eventual unity with all existence.
This body of work has been heavily influenced by the works of Marcus Coates, by both his attempts to blur the barrier between human and animal, but also by his more recent ‘communal works’ which emphasise a needed yet weakened connection between people. It is this connection that I explore in my work. Believing that we are all individual expressions of a single divine source, I feel it is essential to unite with this divinity that is collectively at the heart of us all. I am interested in Jung’s ideas of the ‘Collective Unconscious’ and ‘Individuation’. The idea of the uniting of a persons conscious and unconscious mind so that their original unique promise might be fulfilled. For this to be possible it has to be realised that the larger conception of the self is also based on the idea that humans are expressions of a deeper layer of universal consciousness. To grasp the uniqueness of each person, paradoxically we have to go beyond the personal self to understand the workings of this deeper collective wisdom. As Jung states with ‘Individuation’ The deeper we understand our collective unconscious, the more we can flourish as our individual expression.
The exhibition opens on the 7th of August at 6pm. Attendance is free, but please register here for free drinks and snacks.
Workshop and talk
The artist’s workshop in Shadow Photography will run on the 16th of August at 11am, followed by the talk at 1pm. Please book your places for the workshop by following this link.