Last Night I Dreamt I Knew How to Swim
In 2014 I moved from the state of Kentucky to New Mexico leaving my lifelong
home and my 25-year career as a psychotherapist behind. While it was an exciting
moment it was also a time of questioning and reflection.
Like many artists who have come to New Mexico, I was immediately drawn to the
distinctive Southwestern light. The beauty of the natural environment is evident to
most people; however, my interest was to explore the more banal peripheral
landscapes that often go unnoticed by the casual observer. I began by
photographing color fields and geometric shapes. I was interested in the way light
and shadow could spark complex narratives, and I quickly became aware that these
isolated moments in the suburban landscape were rich with metaphor. Closed and
open doors, empty parking lots and forgotten swimming pools drew me to a scene;
yet it was my reactions to these objects and spaces that elicited interpretation and
As a psychotherapist, I learned the art of asking the question – in many ways these
photographs are an extension of that work. The symbols and spaces in my images
are an invitation to explore a rich world that is concealed from consciousness. And
the scenes are an enticement to contemplate narratives that have no remarkable
life or history yet tap into something deeply familiar to our experience; often
disturbing, sometimes amusing…unquestionably present.
Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer Natalie Christensen’s focus is on banal
peripheral settings. Influenced by 25 years as a psychotherapist, her photos favor
psychological metaphors. She deconstructs to color fields, geometry and shadow.
“Sometimes I get a glimpse of the sublime in these ordinary places.”
Christensen has exhibited in noted museums and galleries in the U.S. and
internationally, was a UAE Embassy invitee for a UAE Architecture Delegation tour,
has been invited as Artist-in-Residence to Chateau d’Orquevaux, France and a
photobook, “007 – Natalie Christensen,” has recently been published by Setanta
Books, London. She has guest lectured at the Royal College of Art and led
photography workshops at The Royal Photographic Society, London and Meow
Wolf, Santa Fe.
Christensen is the recipient of several prestigious photography awards and has
work in permanent collections. Global media have taken notice with features in,
among others, The Guardian, The Observer, Creative Boom, The British Journal of
Photography, LandEscape Art Review, Art Reveal Magazine and Aesthetica
Magazine. Christensen is represented by Catherine et Andre Hug Galerie, Paris;
Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe; Nordic Art Agency, Malmo; and Susan Spiritus
Gallery, Newport Beach.