Natasha Matila-Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine, Sale'aumua, Pākehā) is an artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Master of Fine Arts in 2014. Her practice often deals with social exchanges and anxieties, across installation and digital contexts.
Bringing together online imagery and confessional text, Natasha’s practice is an ongoing exploration of the language and social complexities of romance. While the artwork Matila-Smith produces is not what we might associate with performance art, Matila-Smith works from a perspective that is embodied and relational, recognising that “the field covered by performance has… been expanded and blurred by growing discussions on performativity and its implications for language and power within broader areas of artistic and social practice.” Filtering through social media and exhibition spaces, Matila-Smith’s honest admissions address longing, desire and social anxieties from a perspective that is at times as universal as it is deeply personal. (1)
In her work, there is an intimate and obsessive quality exploring amongst other things, understanding and expectations of intimacy, lust and romance, and societies assertion of these expectations onto the self. Her recent artworks on fabric conjure a sense of fragility yet are bold gestures, presenting intimate moments in such a public and easily consumed space. Recent exhibitions include Hard Feelings, The Honeymoon Suite(Melbourne, Australia), 2018; Between me and you, ST PAUL St Gallery (Auckland, New Zealand), 2018 and Sleight of Hand, RAMP Gallery (Hamilton, New Zealand), 2018. She has contributed to online and print publications such as Runway Australian Experimental Art (Australia), Matters Aotearoa and Art New Zealand.
(1) Excerpt from Louise Rutledge’s Editorial for Enjoy Occasional Journal (2018).