At the age of fifteen Nathalie Abbing became a young entrepreneur in the media sector. Her passion was make-up and special effects make-up, creating specific characters and transformations was her speciality. She worked for many photography, television and film productions. Still, after fifteen successful years, she decided to take a drastic step and broaden her horizons. In her quest she discovered the versatility of fine art and how artists speak through their art. This made her decide to go back to school.
Nathalie Abbing completed her studies in 2008 at the St. Joost Academy of Art and Design in 's Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Her graduation project consisted of two series of photographs. Self-portraits and dead animals, prey brought home by her cats. The photos show the beauty of what is usually not seen as appealing. The magnified subjects were placed in a different light of day; highlighting moments that are strongly anchored in often harrowing emotions.
In the year 2015, Nathalie Abbing moved to Portugal. Her parents had already found their piece of paradise in the suburbs of Silves. After so many vacations with them, flying back and forth, Nathalie, like her parents, fell in love with Portugal. So Nathalie packed her art and moved with her husband and the cats to the Algarve. In the centre of the old town of Lagoa, right between Silves and the coast, they found their perfect place to live and work. The beautiful surroundings, the sunlight and the friendly way of life in Portugal are a welcome basis to provide a positive counterbalance to the sometimes somewhat dark work.
Nathalie's work is about preservation for eternity. Juggling the morbid and the aesthetic. With respect for decay and history, she uses what remains after the death of various animals to create new, non-existent creatures. The bones of different animal species are put together to bring an entirely new species to life. In memory of the impressive death masks of Egyptian pharaohs and Orthodox paintings, where gold is used to represent the sanctity of the icons, the new creature is gilded with 24-karat gold. Then they are ready for admiration for eternity. For Nathalie, creating is a way of life that she enjoys with every nerve of her entire being. This is apparent from the attention she pays to details and the professionalism with which she embraces her creations. Each piece reflects the creative mind of this multi-talent.
In her art, Nathalie is open to reflect on her own life and she doesn't mind if the process is a bit messy. “The theme of my work is based on my own life and experiences. Using different materials, I give in to the inner urge to visualize my stories. The primary goal in my work is to share experiences and to highlight the forgotten and discarded. My oeuvre consists of a wide range of disciplines and materials. Besides working with animal bones and making gilded sculptures, I make 2-dimensional work; paintings in oil, acrylic and other media and photographic projects. I make jewellery from bone and wood, I write short stories and poems and make installations; preferably tailor-made for a specific location, based on a conceptual idea. When the subject asks for it, I work with whatever I can get my hands on.”
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