Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Natalie Michelle Goulet
Natalie is an interdisciplinary artist born in the small town of Kapuskasing in Northern Ontario and currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Using mainly film photography and other lens-based methods, her work explores topics of instability or isolation. Natalie questions the role of human nature and its relationship with the landscape by incorporating elements of performance or various methods of destruction
♦ How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?
My name is Natalie. I like hoppy beers and I drink exaggerated amounts of coffee. I’m overly attached to my large dog-child, Koda, and I spend far too much money on Polaroid film.
♦ What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?
No specific memory comes to mind, but the lilac trees have been in full bloom lately and the smell always brings forth a sense of familiarity and comfort.
♦ Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?
A small town High School is a harsh place for the neurodivergent, but I had a very wholesome and supportive group of friends, and an exceptional art teacher who is still a significant influence on my current life and artistic practice.
♦ How did you get in the world of analogue photography?
I learned how to make a basic pinhole camera and process my own B&W film in high school, but I only dove head first into analogue photography when I started my undergraduate studies in 2010.
♦How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?
My photographic work sometimes skims the edge of anti-photography. I’m interested in ways of deconstructing and adapting the medium to a land-based process. I make work in response to the relationship between human experience and the natural
world. I’m typically circling materiality, temporality and ephemerality: often these characteristics take shape in the form of water.
♦ Are you working on any photographic project at the moment?
I have a few ongoing projects circling themes of time and water, and exploring alternative forms of mapping. One of the latest is a series entitled Slow seeing: an ongoing attempt to reconnect to methods of slow temporality using minimal materials and no chemistry. I wanted to record places around me, areas I frequent regularly, in extended time. The images were created using homemade pinhole cameras, and expired photographic paper from the mid-1970s handed down to me by my mother.
♦ Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?
Countless. One of the most ambitious projects involves travelling to Newfoundland, Iceland, Greenland, and the Himalayas to make work in response to the receding glaciers.
♦ Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?
Whatever is at my disposal at the time, or whatever best reflects the desired end result for a specific project. I have a soft spot for a late-70s blue Rolleicord TLR that I acquired when I was 19 or so.
♦ Who are your biggest influences?
I feel a great affinity with the work and concepts of Roni Horn lately. Other artistic influences include Francesca Woodman, Tacita Dean, and newly discovered Marlene Creates. I’m constantly influenced and challenged by all art forms I surround myself with; always open to new things to listen to and perpetually have several books on the go. Most people who know me can confidently say that if a paper doesn’t quote Rebecca Solnit, it probably wasn’t written by me.
♦ What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?
You’re probably always going to be broke, buy the film anyway. You can’t detoxify your entire practice overnight: your carbon footprint as a photo-based artist isn’t any worse than other artistic mediums. Also, cameraless processes are totally valid and should be further explored.
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