The first pool I remember was the one I fell into as a small child. It was at an apartment complex that my young parents lived in. I recall falling in, opening my eyes, and seeing the color of the water and the reflection of sunlight shimmering in my field of vision. My mother pulled me out. I was around four years old. Eventually I became a good enough swimmer and spent the summers of my childhood and adolescence in any pool I could find.
My parents were divorced by the time I was eight years old and I spent every other weekend with my dad. Back then he lived in apartment complexes; some of which had pools. My father would let my brother and I play for hours. And during the winter he would take us to hotels that had indoor pools. These stays helped us avoid the sense of loss.
My father's business endeavors were prone to sudden changes. When times were good, he lived in luxurious homes; the best ones had pools. But when the tides would turn, the moves came abruptly. There were 11 homes in 10 years. And sometimes the pools went dry.
I came to learn that the presence of a pool was a distraction from how impermanent things actually were. Underneath, there loomed an impending sense that everything could be lost. Stable could quickly become unstable, and suddenly we were in over our heads. Yet the pool was always seductive. There was a comfort in the stillness of its waters, albeit a calm that couldn't be trusted.
Now, I look at pools as windows into my past, and insights into my present. Beyond their surfaces, the depths of my discoveries are seemingly infinite.
descending in slow motion © Natalie Christensen
pale semblance © Natalie Christensen
no good options © Natalie Christensen
last night i dreamt i knew how to swim © Natalie Christensen
are these chairs taken? © Natalie Christensen
pool ladder in lane 3 © Natalie Christensen
winter pool © Natalie Christensen
the deep end © Natalie Christensen
slow drain in winter © Natalie Christensen
escapism © Natalie Christensen
Photographer Natalie Christensen's enchanting focus is on banal peripheral landscapes unnoticed by most. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and influenced by her 25 years as a psychotherapist, her work features commonplace architecture and streetscapes and favors psychological metaphors. She deconstructs these scenes to color fields, geometry and shadow. "Sometimes I get a glimpse of the sublime in these ordinary places."
Christensen has exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, including Santa Fe, New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Barcelona. She recently took a one-week cultural tour of the United Arab Emirates, invited by the UAE Embassy to join a delegation of architects, architectural photographers and curators.
She led photography workshops at The Royal Photographic Society in London and Meow Wolf in
Santa Fe. Christensen has participated in site-specific projects at Iconic Standard Vision Billboard, Los Angeles; El Rey Court, Santa Fe; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Peckham Levels, London.
Named one of the Los Angeles Center of Digital Art's Ten Photographers to Watch, Christensen is the recipient of several prestigious awards. After exhibitions at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana and the University of Texas, Tyler, her work was purchased for their permanent collections. Global media have taken notice, with features in, among others, LandEscape Art Review, United Kingdom; Better Photography Magazine, India; Art Reveal Magazine; Magazine 43, Philippines, Germany and Hong Kong; Site Unseen; Lens Culture; All About Photo and Women in Photography.
Natalie Christensen's Website
Natalie Christensen on Instagram
All about Natalie Christensen
deep blue pool © Natalie Christensen
i waited © Natalie Christensen
go deeper © Natalie Christensen
entrapment© Natalie Christensen
cimmerian shade © Natalie Christensen
shiny objects © Natalie Christensen