Nat Ward

Nat Ward

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Unexpected myriads sprout in the dancing leaves and branches of Nat Ward’s wetlands paintings. Their rich surfaces reference “mosaics, textiles, hieroglyphics even Asian script.” Based in Albury, Ward says her paintings are ‘an intimate conversation between herself and the places she walks’ yet they are, obviously, more sophisticated and inventive than that. Using flattened space, folkloric detail, linear depth and a whimsical energized palette, her compositions take the landscape in every direction: up, down and across. Here on one unified plane is the root bed, winding river, mountain top and hidden foliage. Perhaps influenced by the primeval landscapes of New Zealand where she gained her BA in painting, Ward’s work has evolved into a style all her own, paying homage to a pocket of the landscape that is overlooked in favour of more heroic vistas, recently won Waverley art prize in July 2019. "My paintings are based on the interesting and often secret narrative of regional Australia's inland waterways. My intent is for the viewer to firstly see a deconstructed landscape as a cohesive whole then to be drawn in closer to notice the nuanced layers, signatures and details. I am drawn to the mosaics of colour, the whimsical scribbles of nature’s marks and the lacy reflections on the water. Without focusing on the literal and descriptive, the work subtly suggests and translates the story of the dynamic, evolving wetland environment.”

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