Natalie Michelle Goulet
+April 25, 2019
Canadian Photographer Natalie Michelle Goulet, creates intriguing work with multi-layered meanings using both analogue and digital cameras as well as collage. I’ve been a fan of Natalie’s work for several years after coming across her page on Tumblr and have enjoyed being able to learn about her creative process. What I appreciate most about her imagery is her ability to establish a dialogue with a space. The main subject of Natalie’s work is typically herself, using performance as a tool as well as catharsis.
Natalie grew up spending time in abandoned buildings and became intrigued by the challenge of creating narratives within these places. She started out with an interest in the deterioration of things left behind in these abandoned spaces due to nature and the passing of time. The idea that additional life and energy could be given to someone’s home or someone no longer living is exciting to Natalie and precious to her creative process. Imagining other worldly entities as part of some of her narratives, Natalie uses motion blur to convey darker themes like death, the human condition, and her anxieties about mortality.
The work provides a sense of unease, exploring topics such as mental health, identity, and climate change among others. Certain photographs have been altered by tearing or burning which adds to the sense of unease. In recent work Natalie uses the cold and frozen Icelandic landscape to create implied feelings of discomfort. Far from her native Canada, Natalie explores the concept of ‘home’. A relationship can be seen in talking about global warming and home. Our planet, our home, is in danger because of how we have mistreated natural resources.
In thinking about the concept of home Natalie explores the human condition again. She asks several questions, the first being, “is home a palpable space, a person, or an affinity for a place and time?” This is of course left for the viewer to decide for themselves. She also questions the habitable and the inhabitable and again there is a connection here to the subject of global warming. Finally, why are spaces either deconstructed or forgotten about almost as quickly as they were built? Natalie’s work says something about the relationship between humanity and the shelter we create for ourselves. She visually explores how a spaces value to humanity decreases over time.
The work says a lot and makes the viewer feel deeply. It is something new yet at the same time relatable. Natalie’s ability to establish a clear dialogue in any space she chooses to work in truly makes her work stand out.