Natasha van Netten
My work revolves around the largest creatures in the world—whales. Despite their size, whales remain mysterious. It has often been said that we know less about our oceans than we know about outer space. It is this feeling of the unknown that motivates my work. I collect scientific information about whales from books, online, and by listening to whale researches and explore ways of translating this information into a visual language using ink, paint, wire, paper embossing, ocean water or whatever medium best suites each specific idea. I am interested in the intersection between art and science, using art as a tool to investigate information and gain a more personal understanding of both historic and contemporary cetology (the study of whales), research and discoveries.
In my art practice I try to be as intentional as possible with my materials and my processes. I am inspired by historical naturalist drawings, scientific specimen boxes and contemporary cetology. For materials I prefer water-based mediums such as ink, and often incorporate actual ocean water, and all the little bits floating inside, in my work. My process is labour intensive and based on observation.