Honoring powers of observation as profound sources of knowledge, my work walks between diverse world views, cultivating mutualism between knowledge systems to draw attention to the personal and emotional dimensions of climate chaos. We can no longer afford to see ourselves in isolation, but rather as interconnected bodies of living breathing organisms that depend on each other to be a thriving series of delicately balanced systems and networks. Questions and deep research are primary to my work. Questions have a certain insistence that forces us to listen, to step out of our comfort zones and engage in an exchange. Asking questions encourages oral histories to be told from generation to generation and creates shared experiences ensuring survival of languages and traditions. Asking questions presumes that we don’t have all the answers, opening up our perspectives to consider other points of view and diverse knowledge forms as we grapple with environmental insecurities and social injustices. Seeking out humans and landscapes that can hold this conversation underscores my search for deeper cultural connections, probing strategies of storytelling traditions and spiritual practices, as well as the sciences of geology, biology, oceanography, meteorology (among others), to amplify sustainable practices and relevant voices who share an acute relationship to the natural world. Ultimately, my work engages with the world not as “things” but as living things, to visualize, invite participation, provoke engagement and connect the dots between the interconnections and intersections that honor, respect, and celebrate the web of life.
Judy Natal is an interdisciplinary photographic artist, curator, and writer. An archive of her environmentally focused work was established at The Center for Art + Environment at Nevada Museum of Art in 2012 and her photographs and videos have been exhibited nationally and internationally including the Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil and FotoFest Biennial in Houston, TX. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the California Museum of Photography, Center for Creative Photography, International Museum of Photography George Eastman House, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among others. She has received commissions from Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) at Rice University; Burlington City Arts; and Hyde Park Art Center Chicago. Awards and fellowships include Fulbright Travel Grant, Polaroid grants, New York & Illinois Photography Fellowships and numerous artist residencies in Iceland, the Faroes Islands, Biosphere 2, and the Robotics Institute. Currently, she is working on a interactive digital book/exhibition The Weather Diaries that is taking her to the islands of Hawai’i, Faroe Islands, and Iceland.