NATASHA ARCHDALE

Natasha Archdale was born in 1976 in London. A nomadic childhood took her across Europe and led to a spell in Kenya. Upon settling in England she attended Bedales School and later studied art at Cambridge Arts but it was a serious car crash in 2000 that led her to land upon her adult style. Bed-ridden for 6 weeks with a broken back, she drew herself with the only materials available to her, the Financial Times and a Pritt-Stick borrowed from the nurses’ station. In that bed, her distinctive collage technique was born and developed.

The different shades of newspaper print create chiaroscuro – a visual effect dating back to the Renaissance, characterised by strong contrasts between light and dark - as a way of adding a three-dimensional aspect to her subjects. In her nudes, the torn edges add a dreaminess to the uncompromising poses she depicts. On another level, extracts of specifically selected sections of print – a picture, a headline, some text – leap out from the image, adding depth and relevance to the story each individual picture tells.

Archdale has always been interested in what we are told and how we are told it. The supposedly dispassionate biographical "information" of a newspaper is challenged when used to literally represent the grinning smile of the villain Bernie Madoff or Lord Kitchener's masculine call-to-arms is made comical when conducted through a fluorescent neon moustache. The global financial crisis in 2008 has been a major influence; a nude constructed from articles written about the Lehman Brothers collapse and a depiction of Gordon Brown’s ‘resignation face’ from articles reporting on the event that day. Wherever possible, the print relates to the personality on display.

In October 2010, one of her nudes was projected onto the giant LED screens in Piccadilly Circus as part of Samsung’s campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer. In 2013, Archdale's collages of Andy Murray and Roger Federer hung proudly opposite Centre Court at Queen's Club during the Queen's Tournament.

Natasha now lives and works in Bayswater, London.