NATALIE WADLINGTON

I’m currently residing in Texas, and am originally from Modesto California, where I was born and raised. I completed my MFA from Cranbrook Academy of art is May of 2020. Cranbrook closed early due to coronavirus, and I moved down to Texas where my husband is doing school. I got a new studio and have started some work as I’ve settled down. I was working very large (8 to 10 foot paintings), so I’ve scaled down to three and four foot paintings. I find I am taking my time with the new work, and focusing more on details. I think the lack of grad school pressure has given me more time to relish in painting, and perhaps the lack of structure and control in my life is compelling me to paint tightly, an unusual turn for me, but an enjoyable one. My practice consists of paintings based in story-telling and figuration. I see them as specific metaphors that communicate larger, archetypal narratives of love, conflict, and misunderstanding, specifically in our relationship to animals. In my paintings, scenes of conflict are where we grapple with the limitations of our personal identity and either succeed or fail at mutual understanding. I analyze the relationships and power dynamics between animals, nature, and especially our domesticated pets. Through these narratives, I explore the differences and similarities between the human and the “natural world.” I create scenes of slippage within the Anthropocene, where moral agency can be granted to or take away from both human and animal. By leveling hierarchies, all the actors in these scenes are potentially perpetrator, victim, and suspect. The paintings are colorful, dense, and frontal, mimicking today’s highkey experiences of both image consumption and everyday life.

NATALIE WADLINGTON CV