Natalya Burd

 First Time Art participant



Artist’s Website


Artist’s Statement

I am fascinated with the contrast between beauty of the natural world, and the brutality of human behavior.


Walking in the woods, I see magnificent trees, tall and strong. Their amazing black branches intertwine with each other into wild lines that tell a story, bringing to mind old fairy tales from my childhood. As a young girl, I lived through the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and witnessed the growth of nationalism and ethnic cleansing. This experience gave birth to some of the imagery in my work. As an adult living in the United States, I find myself still confronted with harsh and uncensored images of the world, showing the frantic routines of everyday life: intolerance, cruelty towards animals, and people’s indifference to war and death.


I accept the fact that I am a part of both worlds; this truth is naturally expressed in my work, a place where I can explore the relationships between these two worlds.


Working from old photographs of other wars, I‘ve studied images of solders from varying countries, and time periods. Looking at their faces, I see people swept by larger forces, each soldier is a very small part of the big world; like leaves on a tree, they move together, driven by the passing wind.


I work with ink because I like the honesty of its appearance on paper: a permanent mark that can’t be covered or erased. The fluidity of the material helps me to be both expressive and precise in revealing the life of the trees, the fragility of leaves, and the details of the silhouetted figures. Colors and brush marks gradually accumulate into characters and images, telling a story through juxtapositions that contrast light and dark, transparency and opacity, man at war and nature at rest. At the end it feels as if my work has no beginning and no end. It becomes a constant presence that is simply created again and again with an ink mark on white paper.