Art, architecture, modelling: The Moore the merrier

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Art, architecture, modelling: The Moore the merrier

The work of Natalie Moore is nothing if not eclectic

Abigail Dengler

As I walk into the wonderland that was the dreamchild of Natalie Moore, I am completely taken aback by the sheer complexity of the home before me. To think that this gorgeous expanse was created before Moore had  completed her undergrad degree is a baffling feat of achievement in itself. So how did this architect and model turn into an artist?
The year was 2015. Moore had been told about an art competition run by Barclays in South Africa. But this year Barclays had opened the competition to sub-Saharan Africa, including Zambia, Ghana and Botswana. Although the stakes were high Moore put forward her photographic triptych  Once Upon a Time in Jozi, and the rest is history. She won the Gerard Sekoto award at the 30th Barclays L’Atelier for portraying the fairy tales of Rapunzel, Princess And The Pea, and Cinderella from a truly South African point of view.That was only the beginning thanks to her newfound sponsors Alliance Francais, IFAS and Absa. As part of the winning package Moor relocated to Paris. For three months she looked for inspiration for her next great exhibition that was set to tour South Africa upon her return, Sandman.The artist is currently being hosted in a solo exhibition in the Pretoria Museum of Art for Sandman. As she tells of her inspiration behind the exhibition, she recounts how, after being a professional model for two years, she fell horribly ill in 2014 and had to be hospitalised.
“That was the end of the modelling. A few things in my life kind of fell apart during that time, so I equated that to a desert period.” This was the first inspiration behind Sandman.
“The whole meaning behind the exhibition is based on a poem,” she says.  “It speaks about the hourglass and how time in the day is one grain of sand after the next, so it is very chronological. In the dream world, it is almost like time is suspended so I use the desert as the landscape of a dream. It’s meant to represent your subconscious mind.”The Pretoria exhibition is part of the travelling tour of Sandman throughout South Africa. Next up is Durban.
Follow Moore on Instagram: @nataliemooooreBut what comes next for Moore? “I am an artist.  And my unconventional journey has shaped the artist that I am now.  The house I designed for my parents for me was a sculpture and I approached it in that way.  My poetry is often born out of drawings, and artworks often out of poetry.  They are both for me art, interlinked.  And through it all I see narrative, the fairy tale.  So I intend on continuing as an artist, unbound by medium, to continue following the breadcrumb trail of the fairy tale in my work at present.  To have designed a house that was on Top Billing was a life dream fulfilled and my exhibition Sandman is all about dreams.  So I intend to keep following my dreams and hopefully in the process inspire others to do so.”

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