Artist Talk: Sunday, August 11, 1:30-3pm
Natasha Somerville is a South Carolina based painter and educator originally from Kentucky. In 2007 she earned a B.F.A. in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design where she graduated with honors. She completed her M.F.A. in Studio Art at the University of Kentucky in 2011. For 4 years she taught at the University of Kentucky, followed by 2 years at Georgia Gwinnett College. She currently teaches at The South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University and Wofford College. Natasha has exhibited in 23 group and solo shows across 14 states; some of with include New York, Chicago, South Carolina and California. In 2017, Natasha was included in group exhibitions at the Carnegie Center for Art & History (New Albany, IN) and the Morlan Gallery (Transylvania University, Lexington, KY). She also had solo exhibitions with Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, and the Holy Family Gallery (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
My work is about the exploration of the figure in visually textured and layered surfaces. I create paintings that investigate the combination of representational imagery, abstracted positive and negative space, texture and color. Using shaped or layered panels allows me to create dimensional and sculpted paintings. Outside of clothing, there is no real connection to time in my work; place becomes an abstracted construct.
Each painting is created from an image found on social media. These platforms have changed the way we live, interact and share experiences with one another. The photos I use as reference were primarily taken by other individuals. I am drawn to body language and possible narratives of the individuals interacting in the original photographs. What intrigues me is the illusion of time and the unspoken communication of body language; the personality and character that is exuded in a captured moment.
Without a doubt there is an underlying conversation about privacy online, copyrights, ownership and private versus public persona. Social media allows me to have a rare glimpse into communities across the United States and abroad. The work functions across blurred lines of how much privacy do people really have in our digital era.