Artist Statement

Natoya is a multidisciplinary artist using mixed media and installations to normalizing black womanhood in contemporary spaces. Natoya's work examines the stereotypes associated with how Blackness is often perceived in the spaces she occupies. She believes,  In order to bring into context the present, we must revisits the pass by acquiring documents such as proof of the sale of slaves and children. Using these historical findings as a point of reference, she incorporates archived documents in her large collage pieces with Black figures silhouetted among the findings. She is giving a visual representation of a black body that would otherwise be lost with time. 

 

Natoya's portrait of black women is posed in front of simplified and deconstructed backgrounds rendering in a way that the viewer is faced with all the micro emotions of the piece. These paintings and illustrations explore the nuances of Black beauty and mental illness perpetuated by the stereotype of matriarchal strength. They discuss a variety of troubling subjects such as rape, kidnapping, forced marriages and changed identities. 

In her sculptures and installation, she utilizes various mixed media techniques to tell of the uniqueness of being a woman and Black, Discussing the tender subject of hair, hair types, hairstyles such as hair braiding and a return to Afrocentricity as well as caring for the melinanted skin. 

These day to day ritualist habits are what sets the cultural pinnacle.

Her work serves as a cultural discussion, and  Natoya invites us to view and humanize black bodies without the stereotype.

Education 

2003 - 2005

Studio Art Diploma, Capilano University

2015 - 2015

The American South: Its Stories Music and Art Certificate - University Of North Carolina at

Chapel Hill

2018 - Present

BFA, University Of The Fraser Valley - School of Creative Arts

Publications

Black Artist Research Space, 

2020

Vancouver Sun, Black Influencers

2020

Paperblanks, 10 Questions with Natoya

2006 

UBC Press, Cover Art -  We Have A Voice: An Anthology of African and Caribbean Student Writing in British Columbia 

2005 

North Shore News,

Article - Syncopated Soul Review 

Exhibitions 

Solo

2011

2007

2005

New Life Rising - Calabash Bistro - Vancouver

The Untitled Show - Cafe De Soliel - Vancouver

"Never Understood Nothing" The Lotus - Vancouver, Canada

Group 

Diversion, Mission Arts Council B.C. Canada

2019

2019

Modern Surrealism, Harrison's Hot Spring Arts Council, B.C., Canada

2018

Art at the Authority, Mission B.C., Canada

2018

Water, Mission Arts Council, Mission B.C., Canada

2017

49 to 74, Murbury Gallery, New York City, U.S.A., Canada

2017

Art 4 Life, Port Moody Arts Council, Port Moody B.C., Canada

2016

2016

2005

Anonymous Show - North Vancouver Arts Council, North Vancouver, Canada

Art Of Photography - Harmony Arts Festival -West Vancouver, Canada

Syncopated Soul - District Of North Vancouver, North Vancouver, Canada

Contact Me

 © 2021 Natoya  Ellis - Studio  Natoyaista

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Natoya 
Ellis