“My first experience of a place is one I try to keep in my memory like a stamp. Remembering the smells, the sensation of walking on its ground, the light and colours and my emotional response: a sensory memory of its strangeness, at the beginning of a journey to understand a sense of place.”

  • With a focus on Australia's unique landforms and ecology, Natalie McCarthy’s art is grounded in the memory of her experience of a place, distilling into visual form spatial and light elements observed from her surroundings. An integral part of her process is to initially paint a place en plein air at the time of dawn or dusk, when the light is most transient, to gain a visual memory and reference to draw from later in the studio. Experimenting with variations using water colour, gouache, charcoal and ink and when in the studio, oil paint.

​Originating from the Canberra/ Sydney, McCarthy has travelled abroad to Eastern Europe and New York with her art and more recently drawn to Western Australia completing residencies at Fremantle Art Centre, Perth and the Cannery, Esperance. A self confessed nomad, relocating from Sydney to Uluru, NT in 2015 and then to Fitzroy Crossing, WA in 2018 she is now Perth based in-between continuing consultant work supporting Indigenous Art Centres and Artists from Pilbara and Kimberley regions of WA, APY and Naanyatjarra Lands of Central Australia and Yolngu clans of East Arnhem Land. Her work with First Nations artists has provided an invaluable opportunity to experience the diverse and incredible places of remote Australia and educate her in the cultural connection First Nations people have with their country. It informs her own work, depicting many of this places with careful consideration to the knowledge gained and shared.