Natalie Ryde’s art practice encompasses drawing, painting, printmaking and 3-Dimensional making. United by a hand drawn lattice network and expanded drawing, Natalie’s diverse creative output explores the dichotomy between theoretical and physical nature and touches on the human experience of reconciling rational and emotional responses.
“I look at natural structures that replicate at different scales and imagine the invisible, vital, animating energy running through the veins of living things. I think about the cosmic forces, tides and elements that impact the world around me and space beyond. I am drawn to patterns I observe both in nature and the man-made environment and the way objects and places are shaped by their interactions, particularly by the repetitive rhythms of life. There is a grounding in pattern, a security that things will continue, like reaching the edges of a map, there is a certainty that the terrain extends beyond the visible.”
Drawing and painting predominantly in acrylic inks, colour and line are layered in degrees of concentration and intensity to create depth and chromatic complexity. Brushes and rags are used to apply and remove pigment and paint mediums whereas the intricate line work is executed in dip pen or refillable, 0.8mm nib, ink drawing pens. Drawings made directly onto the paper surface are made with fine nib, archival ink pens where tonal depth comes from the contraction of the woven lines into finite space. Natalie employs a free-hand generative drawing technique reminiscent of textile construction, a skill she attributes to the generations of textile workers in her family lineage. Inherited by nature rather than nurture, Natalie imagines the pattern of labour locked into her genetic muscle memory. The time taken to produce a drawing can be seen in the moment to moment marks made on the surface and these notions of time-passing and work-done are of value to the artist descended from a craft tradition.
The printmaking branch of Natalie’s practice links closely to her drawing and making practice. She produces all elements of the process herself, from hand drawing positives, to exposing screens and pulling the squeegee across the printing bed. She often works in gradient colour and lays strips of cut paper onto the printing surface to produce unique state and variable edition prints. Working live on the printing bed making intuitive decisions during printing introduces an element of surprise and discovery in the process which in turn feed back into the painting studio.
Alongside her studio practice, Natalie works as an artist educator and art directs participatory events with high profile museums, heritage sites, galleries and arts organisations as well as supporting community led initiatives. She is Bow Arts artist-in-residence at St.John the Baptist School in Islington for the 2022/23 academic year and is a visiting drawing lecturer for BA(Hons) jewellery, glass and ceramic students. Natalie works at Crawley Road Studios, London N22 and produces her screen-print editions at Bainbridge Print Studios.
2004-2005 Post Graduate Diploma Jewellery, Edinburgh College of Art
2000-2004 First Class BA(Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing, Edinburgh College of Art
Bow Arts - St. John the Baptist School, Islington, London September 2022 - Jluly 2023
Elevating and embedding drawing as a skil and as a tool for learning and teaching across different curricular areas with a view to systemic changes in the teaching of art and design.
Artist in Residence at Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London. 2011
Six-month residency to research and produce artistic responses to fragments of historic wallpaper. Works on paper and a backlit perspex and paper installation are on permanent display in Kensington Palace learning centre. Design and delivery of a participation and education programme with HRP learning department.
Artist in Residence at Tricycle Theatre (now KILN), Kilburn, London. 2008 – 2012
Dedicated studio time to develop practice and work towards two solo shows. Lead artist on education projects, gallery exhibitions, funding proposals, studio manager. Designing and facilitating projects with newly arrived and refugee teenagers, talented young artists and young carers.
Craft Artist in Residence, Aberdeen City Council, Hazlehead Schools ASG. 2005 - 2006
Working with early years children to develop creativity and fine motor skills through activities informed by my jewellery practice and play.
Control Tower Gallery and adjacent corporate headquarters, Kingshill, Kent. June - September 2022
Scene 7 Studios, Tottenham, London. October/November 2021
Artist Hive Gallery, Tottenham, London, Studio Artists Exhibition, October 2019
Bainbridge Print Open, Elephant and Castle, London, June 2018
LCN Showcase, Space, Mare St, London. March 2018
GAS Gallery, London, Represented 2015/18. Stockholm, New York and London art fairs.
The Other Other Way, Solo Show, Carousel, Marylebone, London, 2016
The Way, Solo Show, SE9 Container Gallery, Greenwich, 2015
Familiar in an Alien Landscape, Wallis Studios, Hackney Wick, 2014
A Remembered Dream, The Invisible Line, Dalston, London, 2014
The Other Art Fair, Brick Lane, Hackney London, 2014
The Crooked Tree, Sink Art Gallery, City of London, 2013
Artsho 4, Budapest, 2013
Inside Out, solo show, Tricycle Gallery, London 2010
A Cough to Break the Silence, solo show, Tricycle Gallery, London 2008
Cambridge Quantum Computing, Cambridge, 2021
Chalkboards, Windows and the Sky - Acrylic ink and gesso on poplar ply panel - triptych each panel 110cm x 80cm x 3cm and 2 further paintings at 60cm x 80cm x 3cm. Painting commission for the offices of CQC reflecting on the process of working out the secrets of the universe as a computer scientist and an artist. The giant blackboards on walls throughout the offices are chalked with mathematical workings and ghost remains of past ideas. A bank of windows looks out over the spires of Cambridge, into the clouds and beyond to the space where the theories of the quantum scientist are situated. I wanted to reflect on this process of working, erasing, looking at a screen or board, looking beyond, imagining something new, inventing a new theory, looking back at the board, testing, erasing, starting again. It is reminiscent of the artist’s process, an infinite cycle of looking, wondering, inventing, refining, erasing, starting again. The paintings took visual cues from chalkboards, windows and the sky but I also used the process of applying paint and rubbing back partially dry layers to create intense depth with traces of previous incarnations of the paintings.
Gunnersbury Park and Museum, London, 2019
Creation of larger than life cake sculpture from cardboard and tape to celebrate the museum’s 90th birthday event.
Historic Royal Palaces, Tower of London, Go Medieval and Tudors at the Tower festivals 2014 - 2018
3 x interactive sculpture tableaux commissions based on historical paintings. Design and delivery of participatory workshops for families. Large scale cardboard sculptures representing historical figures, architecture and events.
Painting Connections, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL. July 2016
Site specific light projection. Network drawing projection in Things warehouse based on topographical data from Hackney Wick. The projection onto paper and wooden palettes showed the creative clusters in the local area through density and an animated pulse rippling through the network.
Sutton House, National Trust, Hackney, London. April 2014
Georgian Tea Party immersive play installation in heritage setting and accompanying workshops for children.
Cabinet of Curiosities Handling Collection for Kensington Palace, London. 2012 - 2017
Creation of mixed media objects based on written accounts from Queen Caroline’s court.
Roof canopy commission at Kew Palace and Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey 2012
Collaborative printed textile installation for the internal roof canopy for the Temple of the Imagination.
Erect Architecture, Developing Projects, Camden Council, The Building Exploratory
A series of steel and wood sculptures referencing the life cycle of trees, reaching up high, seasonal changes and reflections of movement. Ideas for the sculpture came from “Exploring Adventure” engagement workshops.
Selected Participatory Projects
City of London Academy School and Tower Bridge, London. Guest Artist. Jan - March 2018
Design and delivery of an 8 week project with year 9 exploring structures and patterns in 2D and 3D. Creation of suspended sculptural work constructed using geodesic triangles and screen-printed designs based on drawings and photographs of the architecture of Tower Bridge and the surrounding built environment. Exhibition vitrine designs displayed in public walkways.
Bow Arts, London. Various long and short term “artist in schools” projects. 2016 - 2018
Gunnersbury Park and Museum, London. freelance artist. Aug 2016 - present
Development of KS1 and KS2 schools sessions in printmaking.
4 seasons, 5 days. Bronze Award art workshops ages 14 - 21, installation art and site specific responses, building heritage project, installation shown as part of Open House London.
Bush Theatre, London. Guest artist workshops. Art and Privilege. Feb 2017
Creation of collaborative artworks with teenagers excluded from mainstream education exploring group portraiture and collective thought relating to the theme of “art and privilege”.
Royal Opera House, Thurrock Trailblazers Cultural Partner, Essex. 2015 - 2017
Designing and teaching school art workshops that deliver cross-curricular outcomes and teacher CPD.
Discover Children's Story Centre, Story-Telling Machine participation and installation, Stratford. Oct 2016
Multisensory interactive sculpture, guiding children’s forum to manage family activities.
South London Gallery , Sunday Spot artist workshops. March 2016
V&A Museum, Artist educator on family and outreach programmes, London 2015
Further clients include Tate, Arcelor Mittal Orbit, The Building Exploratory and Arts Across the Curriculum.
Further professional experience
London Creative Network, Participating artist, Space, Hackney. November 2017 - March 2018
Professional development programme to facilitate and help contextualise a 6 month project that introduces innovative working practices culminating in a group exhibition in Space Gallery.
ACE Open Studios bursary, Arts Council England and Hackney WickED, July 2017
New Creative Markets, Art business development. Participating artist, Space, Hackney. 2012 - 2015
Seminar presentation at Engaging the Artist’s Voice – Museums, Galleries and Artists working in collaboration, Arts Council England and the British Museum, British Museum, July 2012
I delivered a presentation to museum, gallery and art professionals about my experience as Artist-in-Residence at Kensington Palace and took part in a panel discussion considering the different formats that art residencies in museums and galleries can take.