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Lost in the Echo - A Vibrant, Enigmatic Exhibition

Richard Nattoo 2016 solo exhibition Lost in the Echo opened at the Hub

Beautiful is not a word easily or often associated with crocodiles. But under the skillful artistry of Richard Nattoo, this gruesome, fearsome reptile is rendered a work of absolute and enigmatic beauty, in ‘Sobek’s Blessing’. 

Nattoo’s short run solo exhibition, Lost in the Echo, opened at The Hub on Lady Musgrave Road. last Friday. The 22 pieces in the collection showcase the continuing journey of ‘The Wanderer’. He describes the world of the Wanderer as a place he discovered, not one he created. It is a world where all the creatures are larger than life, their size made evident as they tower over The Wander who appears in almost all the images, uses an almost tiny speck in comparison to the main image.

The pieces, with one exception, are created on archival paper, either rendered with ink, archival ink or watercolour. As a result, the majority are monochromatic with a few striking water colour pieces splashed between. 

Nattoo points out that the exhibition, as with most of his work, is about introspection. In this phase of the journey, most of the pieces go either underwater or dive among amphibians and crustaceans, especially those linked with gods and other mythical beings.

‘Sobek’s Blessing’, Nattoo’s rendering of the Egyptian deity, Sobek, is one of the larger pieces in the exhibition and among the few coloured pieces, along with ‘The Approval of Carcinoid’.

Natto’s work is made particularly striking by both the intense detail in every image and the resulting multiple levels on which the images work. So at it’s most literal level, Sobek is a fearsome crocodile. Yet, a closer look at his scales reveal a maze of constellation points and his single blue eye appears to comprise an entire world, or at the very least a moon. The technique is replicated on several of the pieces. 

The young artist, a recent graduate of the Caribbean School of Architecture, explained that he began working toward the collection in May, with the intention to produce an exhibition in June. The exhibition declares him owner of a prolific imagination, and Nattoo confesses that he is very deliberate in ensuring that he continues to produce his art.

'The Approval of Carcinoid' by Richard Nattoo“I realize a lot of people in architecture school, come wanting to do art and then they get overwhelmed with work. I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I just keep pushing.”

He explained that although he began drawing at an early age, doing art at Ardenne was significant in pushing him in this direction. He reveals that while he was at the St. Andrew based school, two of his art teaches imparted two important lessons: to paint and to think. 

Nattoo's second motivation to constantly produce art is to ensure that he and his audiences receive an emotive experience from art.

“I’m not seeing  lot of work that makes me feel something, so then I like to create work that makes me feel something and hopefully makes my audience feel something,” Nattoo said.

To this end, he explains that his goal is to produce enough work for an exhibition each year. 

“A year in an artist’s life can be a really long time,” Nattoo said. “The reason I want to do an exhibition each year is to mark my development.”

The exhibition opened on Friday, December 9, 2016 and will close Saturday, December 17, 2016.