The vibrant abstract paintings of South African artist Natasha Barnes are inspired by her travels all over the world. She believes that all our life experiences are absorbed and that as an artist her role is to respond to them on canvas. “Every painting is a mood, a reflection of what is happening in my mind. Some days are quiet but every day is a painting, a whole new way of looking at the world.”
Natasha’s most recent work explores the relationship between water and the deep hidden treasures found beneath the surface. In particular, the lotus flower provides her with endless inspiration as a flower that blooms only in adversity; a beguiling metaphor for Natasha’s personal belief that beautiful things can emerge from darkness. She says, “It is astounding that such a beautiful flower can bloom and be at ease in muddy waters. You will find this mark in all my work; look for the lotus in your painting.”She further explores the complex nature of habitat and identity found around water in Asia and Africa drawn from her own experiences. Crocodiles feature in many of her works, providing a connection between places, spaces, lives and continents. She explains: I am fascinated by what is found both on the surface and below the water. You cannot touch the same water twice – it is transient, but it is also life.”
Her natural talent and pure passion for painting has led Natasha to develop a profound and expressive style. She paints in water based mediums applied in confident brushstrokes to create a dense and textured finish. Her subject dictates the flow of the paint and with that, forms take on an element of the unreal, moving into the world of abstraction. Her compositions are characterised by vivid colours and bold, painterly textures.
Natasha’s first solo show took place in South Africa in 1998. Further afield, she enjoyed a major success in London in 2010 and this was followed by sell out shows in, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. Her work can be found in corporate and private collections around the world and has been exhibited extensively in the UK, the US, the Middle East, South East Asia, China and Australia. She is South Africa’s most published artist and was a finalist for the British Artist of the Year Award in 2017.