Natasha Matila-Smith is an artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau, who graduated from the University of Auckland with a Master of Fine Arts in 2014.
In 2018, Natasha was selected for the Goethe-Institut Feminism and Pop-Culture Networking Tour in Berlin and Indonesia. The networking trip, hosted by Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Missy Magazine, focused on intersectional feminist perspectives of women (and non binary people) working in arts and culture and how to connect those to pop culture. In 2019, she was invited to be the Guest Editor for Runway Australian Experimental Art’s Issue #38 focusing on Spectacle. She has contributed to a number of publications such as Un Projects (AU), Art New Zealand and Matters Aotearoa. Recent exhibitions include Twenty-four-seven, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Aotearoa (2019), I will never run out of lies nor love, Bus Projects, Melbourne AU (2019), Between you and me, ST PAUL St Gallery, Aotearoa (2018) and Hard Feelings, The Honeymoon Suite, Melbourne, Australia (2018).
Natasha, who is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine, Sale'aumua (Samoan) and Pākehā heritage, resists definition by colonial or romanticised pre-colonial standards. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, she’s written extensively about the impulse of New Zealand art institutions to define and exoticise Indigenous bodies and cultures. By raising discourse around the disconnection between digital interfaces and their underlying structures, she’s also suggesting the disconnect is so intuitive; it’s the tacit knowledge that governs and connects us all. Her art practice therefore abandons any reference to an ‘authentic’ cultural heritage or depth of history, instead adopting a language that is at once personal and universal. Her urge to address her own hidden emotional landscape implies that bodies have a history of their own.