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Episode 33: Natasha Rivett-Carnac: Words & Pictures

Natasha Rivett-Carnac and I have known each other for years now. We met while studying abroad during our junior year of college at the University of Tasmania in Australia. This was such a formative time so far from home at the edge of the world. We took a book arts class there together and spent inordinate amounts of time in the print and paper studios and on the docks where the art school sits. We reconnected nearly 10 years ago in New York when we were both working within the realms of art and climate change, and have stayed semi-in-touch since then as we’ve both moved around the world and had children. 

photo credit: Grace Gelder

I loved how Natasha talked about how words and pictures split for her and for most people, but how she’s bringing them back together. She thinks of drawing as language and uses words as drawing, combining them in her visual artwork and bouncing between visual art-making and writing as creative pursuits. 

photo credit: Grace Gelder

Her focus on personalized education as a primary reason for homeschooling really resonated. We talked about the overlap in theory of TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) and this method of letting children initiate their own questions as a way of learning. She articulated so well the idea of curating the learning experience – creating the environment for learning to happen and occasionally adding new and exciting materials or ideas into it. I’m excited to see how the workshops she’s thinking about and nurturing come into being.  

Natasha was so encouraging and inspiring! I talk with a lot of teaching artists who are also parents and it’s always helpful to hear how they balance it all – or don’t. I loved the image of Natasha writing while her children pile toys around her as she carves out just that 10 minutes for her creative work. It is possible!

photo credit: Grace Gelder

Natasha is a curator and writer with a focus on arts & culture, and education. She runs a blog that supports writers and other creatives to find practical and artistic resources about motherhood.

She is published in The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Edinburgh University’s Dangerous Woman Project, Resurgence magazine, and elsewhere.

Her project Doing Nothing, a collaboration with London-based photographer Grace Gelder, documents Natasha’s experience of early motherhood in Bonn, Germany. It was presented at Carlyle University’s Visualising the Home conference, and is archived at Goldsmith University’s Women’s Library.

photo credit: Grace Gelder

Natasha supported Chief Curator Jane Trowell at Platform London on the exhibition C Words: Climate, Capital, Culture at Arnolfini in Bristol (UK), one of the leading contemporary art centres in Europe. The exhibition also included a programme of over 80 events and workshops.

Natasha is a home educator. Until COVID, her family split their school year between Costa Rica and the UK. Her family also participated in The Greenhouse, an outdoor education project The Daily Mail called “Britain’s most hipster school”.

She has an MA in Arts & Cultural Management from Dartington College of Arts in the UK, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art: Violin Performance, Visual Art, and Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota.

Natasha is originally from Minneapolis and currently lives in Somerset in the UK with her husband and two children.

photo credit: Grace Gelder

Links:

photo credit: Grace Gelder

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