Natalia Ortega Gamez
(b. 1980, Santo Domingo, DR). Natalia studied Interior Design at Altos de Chavón School of Design in La Romana, D.R., and Product Design with a major in Furniture Design at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Her work is focused on artisanal process and materials that bear a direct relationship to culture, such as clay, bamboo, and fibers. In her current body of work, Ortega Gamez explores the work of traditional weavers, as well as continuing her study of ceramics.
Ortega Gamez has participated in individual and group exhibitions in Santo Domingo, New York, Washington, London, Paris, and Madrid, and her works can be found in the permanent collections of the Centro León Jimenes in Santiago de los Caballeros, D.R., and at the Embassy of the United States of America in Santo Domingo, D.R. as part of the Art in Embassies Program. Her most recent solo exhibition, Con el Sol, was held at the National Botanical Garden in Santo Domingo, D.R.
My work is inspired by nature and the role of traditional craft in culture. To address these elements I make use of contemporary art procedures and actions like Land Art or Guerrilla Gardening, taking the typology of the garden as my canvas. I explore duality through the mix and juxtaposition of novel and experimental materials within each work, designing what could be thought of as impossible objects.
In Los Tejedores, my current design project, I have been looking into traditional weaving patterns both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. By means of craftwork, I seek to explore ways to emulate natural processes without putting aside artistic tradition, design or technology. Working with diverse techniques allows my pieces to seemingly come to life as I position them as coexistent within nature. My interest is to serve the dialectic of nature and its vital processes—I want to create objects inspired in nature, objects that resonate with it, but that at the same time express my personal and cultural experience.
Natalia attended the residency at FLORA ars+natura in Bogota in 2016.