In 2014, Natalie Christensen moved from the state of Kentucky to New Mexico leaving her lifelong home and her 25-year career as a psychotherapist behind. While it was an exciting moment for the American photographer, it was also a time of questioning and reflection – one that would result in this ongoing series.
"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," she tells Creative Boom.
Natalie began by photographing colour 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 projection."
As a psychotherapist, Natalie says she learnt the art of asking the question: "in many ways these photographs are an extension of that work," she adds. "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."
Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Natalie has shown work in the U.S. and internationally including London, Dusseldorf, New York and Los Angeles. She was one of five invited photographers for the exhibition The National 2018: Best of Contemporary Photography at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and has recently been named one of 'Ten Photographers to Watch' by the Los Angeles Center of Digital Art. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the University of Texas at Tyler. Discover more at nataliechristensenphoto.com.