Poignant Portfolio no. 9: Natalie van Sambeck

Poignant Portfolio no. 9: Natalie van Sambeck

Coming Home

by Natalie van Sambeck

Home is very much a state of mind.  Whether we define this in terms of people, places or inanimate objects, it makes no difference.  Home is our sanctuary.  A place where we can go to for comfort, peace, or even solitude.  We are greeted by our self every time we connect to home and it is here that we begin to get a sense for who we truly are.  In this sense home and self become intrinsically intertwined; never fully being constant. 

My home is a sacred place nestled in the forest just off a slightly beaten path behind my family’s house. This place is where I spent most of my childhood days hunting for frogs or crayfish, building forts in trees, stomping on skunk cabbage, or looking up and counting all the stars when the night began to fall. I’ve shed some tears and revealed some of my deepest secrets with these woods. It holds my hopes, my dreams, and even my fears. In essence, my self is imprinted within this place; a sacred space I call home.

Each print is handmade using a 19th-century photographic printing method called gum bichromate. This process requires multiples layers that are all hand coated to create a full colored image that is a one-of-a-kind handcrafted piece of art. Neither grounded in reality or fantasy, the soft desaturated color scheme and painterly aesthetics work together to enhance a dreamlike state of being that reveals the pathway for Coming Home.

Natalie van Sambeck specializes in one-of-a-kind antiquarian pigment prints that reveal the artist’s hand in each piece of artwork. Her work is tailored to those who desire unique imagery that invoke a deeper exploration into the inner workings of the subconscious mind and our perception of reality. As an artist, Natalie van Sambeck is inspired by the natural world and mankind’s relationship to nature. Influenced by the teachings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, van Sambeck offers a unique perspective that challenges conventional ways of thinking about the broader issues surrounding home, identity, the human condition, and our relationship to nature. With an emphasis in alternative processes and self portraiture, van Sambeck creates unique handcrafted works of art that offers her distinctive vision.


From the Editor

The universe is a wild place. I had made a note about inviting Natalie van Sambeck to be one of our Poignant Pic artists after stumbling upon this Coming Home series online. As serendipity would have it, van Sambeck actually submitted her portfolio to me before I had a chance to send the invitation. I’m pleased to share her reflective self portraits that echo the interconnections we as humans have with the natural world. True to her intent, van Sambeck’s images and process translates the dreamy journey back to self beautifully. Big thanks to Natalie van Sambeck for sharing her work with us as 2018 winds down, a thoughtful sendoff to the year.

–Blue Mitchell


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