Artist Biography

Natasha grew up on a large rural farm, the eldest in her large loving family with multiple artistic influences. Although, her biggest influence she did not grow with. Her Grandfather passed when she was three, leaving behind a history of artistic photographic ability and passion. The last memory Natasha holds of her Grandfather is one where he was photographing her on the Puffing Billy steam train in Victoria.

Natasha has used her artistic abilities to reflect, communicate and ‘off-load’, using an abundance of visual symbols, her artworks always hold a greater meaning than the lines and shapes presented on paper.

Natasha has focused on growing her artistic abilities since she can remember, engulfing visual arts education through every year in her primary, secondary and higher school education. Through high school she developed her ten-year plan and decided to one day become a secondary Visual Arts Teacher.

Once she graduated school, Natasha dove straight into studying a Bachelor of Photography and Graphic Design at Charles Sturt University. She completed her Bachelors degree and extended herself into a career of photographic adventures, mostly running her own business.

With the birth of her many children, marriage and extended support from her loving husband; it is now time that she would complete her ten-year plan and become the dedicated, passionate and now experienced Visual Arts Teacher that she is meant to be.

Artist Statement

Chinese scroll painting is arguably one of the oldest continuous traditions in the world. The tradition of ink wash painting developed aesthetic value depending on the individual imagination of and objective observation by the artist.

By visiting the scenes depicted in The Elements of Balance, I relied on my perceptions rather than rational cognition to present my painting, studying the generating and overcoming interactions of the five elements; Earth, Wood, Water, Metal and Fire, using sound to grasp the emotion and atmosphere needed.

While being unrolled, the audience is first presented with a verse,

 “Here on a winters day the importance of water is celebrated, we are to remember its source. The fish presenting abundance and the bridge connecting our worlds with transport being celebrated by the flow of the Puffing Billy steam train. The dense forests are Australia’s gift, with a mountain that long stands watch, well established and shaping our lands.”

The first scene delivers two elements; fire (the sun) and earth (the mountains), with the generation of earth being formed by fire. The scenes are connected by the wood element with dense Australian bush lands. The scene then moves to the metal element, the flow of the train line shows the overcoming interaction between metal and wood, where the bushlands are carved by the Puffing Billy steam train. To conclude the narrative of The Elements of Balance scroll, a visually active scene is presented of Emerald Lake Park. The water element holds multiple ideologies; the first being the generating interaction which depicts the feeding of the dense bushlands. Water symbolises wealth which is represented in four ways; finance, social, time and physical wealth. The water is also home to fish, which in Chinese culture represents symbols of abundance, affluence, marriage and birth of many children.

The Elements of Balance has been created with the influence of the scroll situated in the Chifley’s home sitting room. This scroll reflects both aspects of my own life and Ben Chifley’s.

Natasha Cook
Melbourne, Victoria
‘The Elements Of Balance’
Ink on Chinese scroll using Chinese brush

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