User Account

Artist

Natalie Tkachuk

London College Of Communication (MA Photography / 2012)

Interview

What is your favourite film of all time?

I would probably pick Amelie, I love the colours and vibrancy of the film and the way she finds objects and tracks down their owners. Most recently Volver, I love foreign films.

What music are you currently listening to and why?

I listen to a variety of music, Buena Vista Social Club, The Chemical Brothers, Kid Koala, Alice Russell, The Flaming lips, Bob Marley, the Chilli Peppers, the Prodigy.

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

There are so many I admire, I am inspired by Sophie Calle’s work where she investigates the lives of others and examines their identity, also by the beauty in Irving Penn’s ‘street findings’ series where he photographs banal objects and brings them to life in exquisite platinum prints.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston al members of the f64 group which focused on quality, clarity and the camera being a way of recording a new way of seeing. A huge recent influence of mine has been reading Susan Sontag's ‘On Photography’ it’s made me look deeper into the concepts behind a photograph and reflect on my own work.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

I have been to so many exhibitions that I can’t choose. I like to pick up something from each one. ‘Surprise Surprise’ at the ICA in 2006 was extremely interesting, they had asked 40 well know artist to produce atypical artwork. This was so interesting to see unfamiliar, unpredictable and one off work by some very well know artist.

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

Where do I find my subjects? I have a huge interest in rummaging you can often find me in old buildings or in junk shops looking around, its in these places I have made most of my discoveries, I take then home or photograph them in situ and keep them until I find what I want to use them for.

What / who inspired you to be an artist?

I have always drawn and made things from a young age and art was my favorite subject at school, then I discovered photography when I was 13 and have been taking pictures ever since. I now collect various different art and photography magazines and books which keep me inspired all the time.

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

All of my series are made in the studio, but I generally don’t have one particular place. Anywhere and everywhere suits me.

What do you like most about being an artist?

The element of surprise, never knowing what is around the corner and having the freedom to produce and explore whatever takes my fancy.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

People wanting to own my work and have it in their homes!

What are your plans for the coming year?

Having just completed my MA in Photography at LCC I plan to promote my new series 'Totems' and I would also like to take a course to learn sculpture to add to my assemblage techniques in my new work.

Latest artwork - View all by this artist

  • Traces Plate 1 - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Posted Forgive Me - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Totems III - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):101.6x76.2x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Totems II - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):101.6x76.2x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Totems I - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):101.6x76.2x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Posted True Love - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Posted Forgive Me - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Traces Plate 9 - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Traces Plate 3 - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • 'The Wandering' Sussex -...
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • 'The Wandering' The Highlands...
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • 'The Wandering' Sussex -...
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • 'Archived Miscellanea'...
    Size(HxWxD):101.6x101.6x0.7cm
    £2,150.00
  • Traces Plate 1 - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Posted Risk Anything - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Getting a Little Frisky - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Posted A Little Frisky - Large Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):76.2x101.6x0.7cm
    £1,900.00
  • Traces Plate 9 - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Traces Plate 5 - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00
  • Traces Plate 3 - Small Perspex
    Size(HxWxD):42x59.4x0.7cm
    £920.00

Artist's statement

My work is an exploration through the medium of photography where I try to find beauty in the everyday and in the lost and forgotten. So many treasured items are lost such as books and letters I try to bring these lost and forgotten objects back to life by looking at them from an alternative angle creating new objects from the abstract forms.

Tkachuk’s recent body of work ‘Totems’ are constructed machines abstracted from their original purpose and functions becoming a collection of past technologies and a collection of the non-functional. The juxtaposition of mechanical elements build a totemic sculptural object, suspended in space becoming a scale-less catalogue of the industrial past.

 

The re-appropriation of these hybrid apparatuses/pre-existing materials leads us to question their use and to see them as a new machine. These creations are reminiscent of something from another world; they have been collected, deconstructed and reconstructed. The monumentalness of these images echoes the futurist movements of the power of the machine, the importance of the machine and the possibility of the machine.

 

This catalogue of industrial relics is looking forward from the past inviting the viewer to place their own assumptions of what this post-apocalyptic bricolage might be. We re-read the familiar in an unfamiliar territory to make our own assumptions of what these purposeless tribal sculptures of reconstructed fragments might come to be. These carcasses of machines have outlived their original use and instead draw our attention to the materiality of the forms; they are shadows of the past given a new future. They are a readymade art object that only exists in the photograph. They are re-invented to provide a new function, they are a new way of seeing, they are a contrast of a dream world and the objective of the machine.

The series ‘Traces’ meaning the sign, mark or remnant that someone has left behind are still life photographs of old letters and books collected from house clearances to explore the ideas of the lost and the forgotten, what a stranger leaves behind, traces of time, memory, and presence. These letters and books are objects that are familiar and recognisable to us all and allow us to use our own memories and our own identity to relate to the work.

In some aspects they look abstract, new shapes can be created from them rather than seeing them in their ordinary aspects. The books have been opened literally and in doing this it symbolizes the opening up the stranger’s life and the same effect is created with the letters which are being looked into and thus allowing the viewer to peek into her life. For example, Plate 5 is an autograph book from someone in the RAF noting all the people he had met on his journey he also noted the deaths of his friends. On the left had side of this image the pages of the book have slumped down, this ironically looks like a paper aeroplane.

 The once private objects have now been made public, the only reason for this is the death of the owners, and they have now become a memorial and shrine to the lost and forgotten, it is the traces we all leave behind.

 ‘Archived Miscellanea’ is an ongoing series of obsolete items that no longer have a use; they have been throw away and discarded. These items have been collected and categorised, and these once useful items have been given the importance and significance of something museum worthy. Many of these items are not familiar and recognizable, they are unidentified. They are not given a description as it is like a puzzle, it is only someone that has a passion or love of that objec­ts use will know of the item, these items have secrets. This series is a record of useless items, based on traditional factual photography as a way of recording and archiving my findings and discoveries, I collect items which I find visually intriguing, examining manmade items.

‘Posted’ leads on from my previous series ‘Traces’ following themes similar themes. These wartime love letters are retracing the life and love of Maude and Frank. The letters are all written by Frank whilst he was ‘Posted’ at different places all over England during the war. These large format images depicting oversized letters have carefully had individual lines selected to narrate short passages and inform us of the life and love between this couple.  Their secret, private correspondence becomes public, revealing their strong intimacy and the distance between them. These personal letters are like a visual poem, the scrawl of the handwriting, dusty smell, texture, old stamps are like a biography of someone’s life, some more warn than others, have been read and re-read.

Juxtaposing the letters together builds a structural and sculptural beauty amongst the darkness which surrounds their love for each other. The darkness being the war and distance between them, and the beauty is in the softness and subtle tones in the array of paper representing a tender moment in the complex lives of others. It is a dreamlike effect emerging from the darkness.

Natalie is a Contemporary Collective Artist

Exhibitions

Solo:

2010 Bo-Lee Gallery, Bath, 2011.

2007 ‘Traces’ at The Rex Independent cinema Berkhamsted

Group:

2012 ‘Four the Love of Art’ The Gallery in Cork Street, Mayfair, London

2012 ‘Bound’ Bo-Lee Gallery, Bath

2011 ‘Forest Of Art’ Execution Rooms, Degree Art, London

2011 'Echoes & Traces' Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

2011 'Summer Exhibition' Opus Art, Newcastle

2010 ‘A Visual Dialogue’ the Octogon Chapel, Bo-Lee Gallery, Bath

2009 ‘On Borrowed Time’ the Octogon Chapel, Bo-Lee Gallery, Bath

2009 ‘Signature Photography Awards’ Empire Gallery

2008 ‘Collect 4’ Empire Gallery

2008 ‘In Search of Beauty and Wellbeing’ Menier Gallery

2008 ‘Signature Photography Awards’ Empire

2007 ‘Nikon Discovery Awards’ at Nikon solutions expo, Olympia

2007 ‘Untitled 62’ at AOP London

2007 ‘Degree Show’ at University College Falmouth

2006 ‘AOP Student Awards 2006’ at AOP London

2006 ‘New Shoots’ at Falmouth Arts Centre

Achievements & Awards

2009 London Photographic Association- Love, Pain & Beauty - Silver Series Winner,2009 Signature Photography Awards ‘Still Life’ winner,2007 Nikon Discovery Awards winner