Natalie Hunter

Natalie Hunter creates photo-based installations, sculpture, and moving images that explore relationships between embodied experience, spatial perception, the senses, personal memory and identity. Her work studies the complexities of time, space, memory, and the senses in our digitally saturated culture through an interplay between image, material, and form. With a fascination for both image making and working with materials by hand her research and studio practice poetically investigates the shifting sensory experiences of light, colour, time, consciousness, and motion as they relate to memory and perception.

Whether sculpture or image based she engages with immaterial concepts, ephemeral processes, and material form while considering how the spaces in which we dwell affect our perceptions of time and place, and resonate with associations of memory and the senses. In both image making, sculpture, and their installation, light is fundamental to her process. Over the past twelve years she has produced multilayered and immersive photo-based installations working with transparent film, translucent silk, colour, reflective, and backlit films. She often employs and exploits the immaterial principles of photography - light and time - with the material aspects of sculpture; draping, folding, curling, and bending images in space over hand formed wood, metal, or acrylic glass armatures. Her evocative installations composed of image and sculpture create contemplative spaces and experiential encounters that become poetic meditations on the act of making, the fluidity of memory, and our relationships with the material and immaterial worlds we exist in. The translucency and mutability of her sculptures and images speak to the fluidity of thought and memory, and become meditations on temporality and impermanence. Witnessing the slow passage of light through time, her work reflects upon the nature of time and place, embodiment and being, the psychology of space, and consciousness in our image saturated world.

“I am a sculptor who fell in love with images. In my installations, photographs, and sculptures, I explore ephemeral and intangible phenomena like time, light, memory, the senses, space, temporality, and perception through image and material form. I have a fascination for both the act of making with materials and my hands, and the making of images. Over the past decade I have produced sculptural installations using photographs on transparent film and other fragile semi-translucent materials like silk and backlit films that engage with the poetics of time, memory, chance, perception, light and the senses. The materials I work with - like my photographs on transparent film - change based on the time of day, or a viewer's perspective. Combining the intangible principles of photography —light and time— with the material aspects of sculpture, I explore the luminous, fragile, and transient properties that photographs on transparent film bring to concepts of memory, the passage of time, motion, and space. I often work with photographs on transparent film and other suspended, ephemeral, translucent, malleable, or fragile materials that embody the slippery space of thought, memory, time, and the act of making. Folding, curling, draping, layering, and bending images within space, I create immersive experiences and intricately layered installations that evoke reverie, sensory comprehension, embodiment, and memory formation while questioning how our bodies flow through space and perceive images. Pinning my photographs to the wall in layers or undulating waves and draping them over wood, metal, and plexiglass structures, my installations become experiential encounters that speak to the poetics of light and memory, collapse time and space, question our relationships with the material and immaterial worlds we exist in, and how we understand memory, physical, and psychological space.”

- Natalie Hunter

Image: Natalie Hunter. Edge of Sky. 2020-21. Detail.