Night Tide
Natali Papak
2–14 April 2024

‘Night Tide’ presents ceramics made with a variety of clays informed by the artist’s coastal Croatian origins and travels. The works draw upon a sense of belonging and place strengthened by ancestral connections and allegorical storytelling. 

Through the Looking Glass (Submerged) is a painted oceanic homage to the panel portraying the ‘Sense of Sight’ from the medieval ‘Lady and the Unicorn’ tapestry series. The series was discovered, rescued, and restored from water damage in a castle located in Boussac, France in the 1840s and has been a source of inspiration for creatives of all kinds ever since. Here the unicorn has become a seahorse and the mammals have sprouted fins and scales to adapt and survive in the big blue.

Throughout the exhibit, imaginative realms extend to the depths of the collective unconscious to consider how humans have sought to unravel mysteries of the deep.

Cultural as well as intuitive starting points provide endless possibilities for the birthing of playful organisms and super bodies intent on survival. The tactility of the ceramic process invites a slippery merging of forms that are alien and aquatic yet familiar, sentient, and capable of conveying a sense of longing. 

The viewer is invited into a call and response with discussions regarding rising water levels, intercontinental migration, mysteries of lost and submerged worlds and the unearthing of ancient civilizations.

Natali Papak is a visual artist and art educator born and working in Naarm. Recent solo exhibits include 'Swamp Bed' (2023) at Sticky Institute, ‘Chromesthesia’ (2022) at Alternating Current Art Space, 'Night Garden'(2019) at Rubicon ARI, ‘Traversing the Void’ (2016) at Seventh Gallery. 

A notable career highlight was her artist residency in the historic town of Vallauris in the South of France in 2014 where she worked alongside a group of peers to create and exhibit an individually proposed body of work.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Visual Art, both completed at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her Graduate Diploma of Teaching was completed in 2003 at Melbourne University. 

Natali has been exhibiting her work professionally in a range of contexts since 1997, her first solo exhibit was held at the George Paton Gallery in 1999.

Please join us for a drink to celebrate the opening of Night Tide on Thursday 4 April (6–8PM).