Natalie Frost

Natalie Frost - Vane

Natalie Frost, The Ascent of Man, 2003

Working directly onto the fabric of buildings, Natalie Frost’s work is often initially camouflaged, simulating the surface or surroundings in which it is sited.

On first viewing, the work appears to be comfortably familiar. However, on closer inspection, disquieting elements begin to reveal themselves, indicating a concealed threat. For ‘Space Between Us’, images of stealth bomber aircraft surface from mirrors, which in turn reflect the city outside, envisaging an urban war-zone. On one hand, these iconic images – along with the chrome-like finish of the film used in their creation – replicate the slick feel of an army recruitment advert. But the miniature scale of their execution lends the imagery an absurd Airfix quality, one that is intensified by the use of sticky-backed plastic – a favourite material of the hobbyist.

The stealth bomber motif also emerges from other surfaces of the gallery. The inconspicuous imitation of mirrored and wooden surfaces in turn mimics the nature of the aircraft, notorious for its ability to avoid detection and accurately hit targets.

As if to undermine these signifiers of death and destruction, another work depicts the ‘ascent’ of man in fake marquetry applied to a nest of tables, a ubiquitous symbol of bourgeois notions of gentility. Positioned in the realm of the handcrafted and the homemade, the work’s lo-fi rendition aims to destabilise our faith in the belief that mankind is on a linear trajectory of evolutionary advancement.