Artist Natalie Duncan pours her heart and soul into her work. Things that she could never say in person, she paints onto large ceramic vessels which she creates as a way of expressing her thoughts and feelings about her family’s military service.
It was art that helped her make sense of her own memories of serving in Afghanistan and to deal with her fears for her husband and brother, who also serve; but nothing prepared her for how she would feel when her own son enlisted.
She poured her fears and frustrations into her art, creating what she describes as an “all too personal” work.
The result – You are in danger and I am far away – won the 2019 Napier Waller Art Prize and is now on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
“I’m really overwhelmed, but really proud,” Natalie said. “When you scroll through the entries and read the stories behind them, you are proud just to be a part of it. It’s like someone’s saying, ‘We believe in you, you’re doing well, mate, keep going,’ so I’m just really proud. It’s like I’m going to explode.”