Nathalie Detsch Southworth’s paintings are mythical pictures that seek to connect us back to our origins, to the beginning of civilisation and the cradle of humanity, each image a commingling of calligraphic markings, symbols and flat bold colours that are reminiscent of tiles, mosaics and religious murals on the walls of ancient temples.
There is something incredibly pure and simple about these paintings as if Southworth transcends the modern, the contemporary, and digs deeper into our primal selves, into the embers of our soul that was once alive to the elements, to the tactile feeling of the superstitious, the mystic. The magical essence of living in a world that was understood through the intercession of the gods.
We are witness to a direct appropriation of a cultural lexicon that has been passed down through generations, has been lost amidst the desperate need for humanity to advance, a pursuit that has led to us forgetting our humble beginnings and our deep connection to the splendour of the world and the universe around us.
In Southworth’s paintings we are taken on a trip through the ancient world, on a fantastical journey through time, an exploration of mythical beasts and arabic calligraphy. She presents us with a rhythmical picture that beats away deep within our belly. Quiet. Yet persistent. Waiting to be heard, to triumphantly proclaim the majesty of our history. Here’s what Ernst Bannwart of the Galerie Claudine Hollow has to say about her work:
Much is left to the beholder, the interpretations of the chosen mythical forms, colors and dimensions of the paintings can leave the beholder in a state of uncertainty. Their eyes take them on a journey back to the origins of human culture. Could it be that the artist is reminding us of something which most of us are about to lose in our busy world: the ability to listen to ourselves and therefore maintain a closer bond with our origin?