Natalie Wardlaw

Kenyon College

Through my art, I seek to reanimate the fallen, discarded, violated, and repressed. Drawing from history, current social issues, and personal experiences, my work centers on gender, sexual and domestic violence, and the nature of trauma. I am drawn to the dark corners of the human condition where I attempt to inspire empathy and acceptance by shining light.

I find inspiration in media representations of women - from turn of the century fashion plates to contemporary raunch culture online. My creative impulses are often fueled as a reaction against the prevalence of gender based discrimination and violence in our society. I aim to transcend violence through pieces that inspire introspection and personal engagement on challenging issues.

I am fascinated by delicate and often disturbing representations of the fragility of life. Natural materials with an ephemeral and tactile quality - beeswax, wool, dried pig intestine - have become increasingly prominent in my practice. Recently, I have moved from 2D to 3D pieces, culminating in my current work with figurative sculpture and stop-motion animation. Sculpture and animation allow me to push my art to the closest imitation of life. Like dolls, I view figurative sculptures as personified objects that act as mediators between the physical world and the spiritual realm of creativity and spirits. I believe that through the process of creation and experiment we are able to find ourselves and deepen our connections with others.  

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