Natalie Ital’s artistic creations are adventures in experimental photography with an emphasis on the traditional photogram. The artist uses digital editing to refine the details of her images and coined the term “digigram” to describe the finished products. The starting point for these unique reinterpretations is a simple photogram comprising an arrangement of objects, light, and shadows.
The main difference between modern digital photography and the photogram is temporal. Unlike today’s digital images, the photogram does not reveal itself until the development process is finished – which can take anywhere from a day to a month. By using this technique, the artist ensures that chance, surprise, and revelation are retained in the final works. Ital’s approach is based less on the use of a highly technical method and more on the desire to capture and present remarkable moments through simpler means.
In her recent series “Ultra”, Ital realised the interplay between light, shadow, and shape through digital means. The final results appear like silhouettes, but are in fact digital photographs. The digital nature of the works helps to preserve their essence whilst also distinguishing them from anything we have seen before. The colours carry the pieces into a hyper-realistic dimension and accentuate their uniqueness. Ital’s decision to focus on plants is in keeping with the origins of the photogram, which was used to pursue the comprehensive documentation of nature in the 19th Century. The world of plants has remained a popular subject in the medium ever since.
In “Ultra” nature has been tamed, but it still retains its wild origins. This balance of contrasts is a distinctive feature of Ital’s artistic approach, running through each of her works. The series is an experiment that draws the viewers in, fascinating us on multiple emotional levels. The wonder of nature is given new life, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and we are presented not only with a new aesthetic, but also with a new emotional experience.
The artist only makes limited use of technology’s endless possibilities; just as with her photograms, she leaves the objects their own time and space. Digital processing may have accelerated the rate at which new pictures can be created for a series from the same original source, but it has not replaced the artist’s spiritual creative process, which is what gives her artwork its meaning.