Natalie Tkachuk wins Silver
Natalie Tkachuk: series category, Silver
Natalie Tkachuk’s series “Posted” explores themes of love, pain and beauty forgotten over time. The images show fragments of love-letters, written by a couple known only as Frank and Maude whilst Frank was posted in various locations during the war.
The series leads on from Natalie’s previous work “Traces” and expands on issues of lost and forgotten identity. The large-format images depict oversized letters in which the photographer has carefully selected individual lines and short passages which informthe viewer of the life and love between this couple.
“Their secret, private correspondence becomes public,” says Natalie, “revealing both their intimacy and the distance between them. These personal letters are like a visual poem and the scrawl of the handwriting, dusty smell, texture and old stamps are like a biography of someone’s life. Some are more worn than others: they have clearly been read and re-read.
“Juxtaposing the letters builds a structural and sculptural beauty amongst the darkness. The darkness suggests the war and distance between them, and the beauty is in the softness and subtle tones in the array of paper representing a tender moment in the complex lives of others. It is a dreamlike effect emerging from the darkness.”
Fine art photographer Natalie thinks the power of the images in this series lies in what is not revealed, allowing the viewer to use their own experiences to relate to them. Letters are familiar objects, recognisable to us all. They allow us to use our own memories and our own identity to relate to the work.
“I try to find beauty in the every day and the forgotten,” Natalie explains. “One of my main focuses is on the aesthetics of the work, and the mysterious ways beauty is found in a photograph. I shoot on large format camera (5x4) using transparency film, photographing still-life objects that are left behind from strangers’ lives.”
Natalie graduated two years ago from University College Falmouth where she gained a First in BA Photography. She has just secured a commission from Southampton Library and is in discussions with DegreeArt.com about a solo show at their gallery in London’s Vyner Street.