Natalie Brake’s abstract paintings come from a place of multiple identities: her mixed heritage of East Indian, Newfoundlander and Mi’kmaw First Nation, in combination with her artistic credentials in dance. Her desire for pure expression flows in a visual language that simultaneously evokes vibrancy and serenity, resembling characteristics of her main source of inspiration: nature. Having often felt like an outsider due to the diversity of her ethnic and creative backgrounds, she finds her sense of self and home in nature, and communicating this comfort through art.
Brake’s arrangement of acrylics, fluid paints and epoxy resin map out a landscape of ineffable sentiments. Her use of colour creates harmony between the hues while still managing to highlight each colour, like an orchestra conductor directing certain instruments to crescendos in order to both bring forth and contrast the melodies. There are elements of atmospheric and classical music in her style, reaching beyond colour and brush strokes arrangement to a grander scheme of inspiration.
Ceaselessly fascinated by nature, Brake’s Luminescence works reference phosphorescent light in the ocean and starlight in the wild. Offering dual perspectives, this series can be viewed in the daytime and in the dark, offering different visual experiences. In these luminescent works, Brake employs a powerful combination of colours and contrasts, resulting in an alluring effect. Viewed under a blacklight, the canvases fall into a deep darkness while the iridescence blossoms forth like sea creatures.
Brake’s technique, process and choice of medium reflect her background in dance. Adhering to the creative expression of movement, Brake has a particular method when it comes to using resin that values its sculptural and precise effect. She integrates resin into her paintings, sometimes by combining it with other mediums, other times using it alone. In particular, while the resin is curing she observes the phases of hardening it undergoes as indicators for how she would like to use it as a medium.
Her works have been exhibited extensively in Victoria, B.C., and internationally in Mexico.