Tough Romance

Tough Romance

A dance of interior self-modulation and reflection with The Inner Child archetype.

“The image of the child represents the strongest, the most ineluctable urge in every being, namely the urge to realize itself.” Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 174. ‘Tough Romance’ refers to Natisa Jones’s multifaceted relationship between the conscious self, external influences, and the inner child. When most children play they enter into dislocating dream-like trances. These are places of freedom and innocence where all things are possible, and where different versions of a reality outside of time exist. The inner child sparks the thrill and love of creating, romanticizing life. It exists amongst realms of external conditions. Tough Romance is Natisa’s attempt to harmonize this relationship between the inner child and its external context. This harmony is what enables her to sustain the love and pureness in creating and of life itself, embracing the dynamics of external factors.

Her works begin with a graphic stroke or a wandering line, they carry no preconceived notion of where things will lead. The focus is within the extraction of feelings, through a dialogue with the Self. Recognizing and empathizing with all the different truths is part of a necessary, ongoing process. Perhaps it is to have a better sense of the monumental fragment of life. The layers of paint reflect the struggles and resolutions, allowing each image to form naturally. Her solo exhibition provides an intimate delight into Natisa’s attentive mind, where the mundane, fascinating and confused subjects of daily topics are cultivated into works packed with emotions. There are three distinct works in this exhibition, drawing, video and mainly, painting. Each medium plays an equally important role in the understanding and development of Natisa’s artistic practice. For Natisa, painting on a large canvas is important to providing enough expressive landscape for the emotions and feelings to resolve. Paper works have its significance, they capture fleeting thoughts and moments, even though as a medium, it is more challenging and less forgiving. They have the tendency to immediately preserve mistakes, giving little room for corrections.

One way for Natisa to revisit certain issues and subjects with herself is through recording her conversations. Over the course of ten years Natisa’s informal recordings have acted as a platform for self expression. In recent years they have manifested into an art form in itself gaining ground in the context of her art. Within all the various mediums, the work goes through similar cultivation process attending to internal and external discourses. These conversations are a start to comprehending the relevance of emotions to past and current experiences. The use of dialogues as a vehicle for self-expression eventually move, from the auditory sense into visual in a form of text. Words as images, taken from journal entries, are used to ground expressions, and they have become part of the characteristic of Natisa’s paintings. Perhaps the most prominent trait in her body of work are the lose depiction of asexual figures. Their appearance slowly forms over the course of months, taking as much time as it needs and appearing only when emotional discourses are resolved, or at least for the time being.

Their genderless characters are neutral grounds, which enable emotion and thought to be fully realized in its personification. Each stroke carries its own stimulant, influencing the direction of the painting. Sometimes, a canvas may experience several new start points, but even so, the will never be repainted white. The old markings are retained and become part of its identity. Each of the paintings carry many emotions and memories within their layers. This process will almost certainly never end, as life’s moments will continue to be contemplated from myriads of altering perspectives, and evolving viewpoints that will play out over time. These will act in opening up new fronts within this personal dialogue, which will continue to manifest creatively, thereby cementing the sense of place in time. Tough Romance is the philosophy in which Natisa play out her creative and personal process. Acknowledging the need for harmony through awareness, by staying true to her inner child while respecting her external world.


Text by Glenda Sutardy