Mapping
By Natasha Smith

none
Year
1995
Media
Printmaking
Subject Matter
Abstract
Reg. Number
P588

The picture depicts in broad loose washes, an aerial view of the contours of an island in the form of a map. A path through the island mountains indicated in brown lines against the yellow landscape of the island is annotated with evocative pictures of landscape features that relay the memory and unique personal history and experience of the artist. These include a rose, an ancient tombstone, a tree, a harbour scene, a silhouette view of a minaret through 3 arched windows and an abstract mountain elevation. Abstract tree like forms edge out into the sea green ocean surrounding the island like pollution streaming into the sea. This is a personal map where the artist has created a landscape from memories, associations and fragments of personal narratives. In this landscape, photographic elements representing memories become landmarks, linked together abstractly form new connections and fuse the past and the present.

The artist, Natasha Smith says "My lithographic maps evolved by creating quite free lithographic washes on the lime stone, islands were then created and the contours of mountains began to be suggested. The creation of small books became an important aspect of my work and seemed to accentuate the strange narrative effect of the various images when drawn together. The photographic elements introduced in both the maps and the books were selected from a personal collection of negatives which have been accumulated over a number of years. These realistic glimpses reference quite specific locations and due to the way they are chosen and incorporated, there is a continual reference and fusion of the past and present.

The artist says "There are particular landscape locations that hold a certain magnetism, this is often due to the union of various elements. From an early age certain phenomena become imprinted in our psyche. Memory often alters one's view of things, certain experiences may be enhanced, elements can become more abstract and grow in importance. Through a spontaneous technique of drawing combined with quite personal views seen through the camera, the abstract and the real may be seen together one affecting and reacting with the other. Connections are made between places and various fragments come together, personal narratives are formed and themes start to reoccur in different contexts."

From 1990 to 1991 Natasha Smith studied and completed an Art and Design Foundation Course at York College of Arts and Technology. Between 1992 and 1995 she studied at Duncan Jordanstone College of Art and was awarded a BA Hons Fine Art. In 1993 she was awarded the Perth Decorative Arts Society Award and in 1995 she was awarded the Bernard Cooper Memroial prize. She has exhibited widely throughout Britain and in Canada.

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