Artist Natasha Pearl lives near Canterbury and has had Whitstable as her main focus for the past three years. Much of her new work was on view in an exhibition called Beauty Queens which featured at The Horsebridge Arts Centre in October 2018.

This exhibition saw the buildings of Whitstable transformed into human form with Wave Crest on the seafront envisioned as a row of Beauty Queens in swimsuits matching the colours of the houses and Marine Terrace as a row of ladies knitting.

Having worked as a portrait painter for 18 years it was hard to separate buildings from people and not see the houses as personalities themselves.

My paintings are primarily figurative, with a narrative edge.

The work has been inspired by personal experience, an obsession with family ancestry and an endless curiosity into the nature of human interaction and consciousness.

I have felt the need to demonstrate that something exists outside ourselves beyond the mundane. I am interested in the idea of the alter ego and the conflict this creates in our relationships and ourselves.

I hope too, to show connections between worlds: be it between generations, recreating the past for present consideration, that blending of past, present and future into one moment of creation. (Sepia Series)

Or between the world of who we perceive ourselves to be and the world of our unrealised potential, be it spiritual and other dimensional, or physical and material. This is where the alter ego can also raise it’s ugly head, at once nullifying that potential and so the conflict between our true and beautiful selves and our own self-inflicted soul-shrinking comes into play. (Hands tied she missed the glory of the morning. Cancer.)

Connections between the world of the masculine and the world of the feminine also come into play (Connect. Culminating in Merge where the two worlds are unified, reunified, the boundary between the worlds is no longer clearly defined.)