Natasha Bourke is a Ireland-based Interdisciplinary artist of Irish/Dutch descent with an extensive movement, aerial and performance background. With a first class hons BFA, her practice embraces Film, Installation, Archive, Drawing, Photography, Sound and Performance (informed by Harness/Vertical Dance, Authentic Movement, Butoh, Body Weather & Clown) as languages. Movement in water is also integral to Bourke’s ongoing inquiry using different spatial modalities to explore physical and psychological states of suspension. Bourke’s roots, life and mixed experience of intense ballet training from infancy influence her work to contemplate universal themes of self and society such as identity, institution, transience, perception, pathos and play. With a poetic, absurd and spectral aesthetic, Bourke continually investigates new ways to merge and refine the different strands of her work into a unique and coherent language whilst trying to maintain an open approach and process.
As part of her practice since 2014, Bourke has developed a body of performance and short film works featuring Coneface, a performance alter ego whose face is covered by a long, semi-transparent cone narrowing perception and providing both protection and slight sensory deprivation for the effaced wearer. Navigation through light indication is a key aspect, similar to a camera. This motif was originally designed to refer to filtration devices developed with age or a dissociative state caused by technological over-stimulation in ever-advancing modern life. The artist uses this anonymised absurd figure to explore themes by activating thematically specific tableaux and guises, which often include site response to less conventional performance settings and the use of harness/suspension. Coneface continues to evolve, having appeared in numerous live and filmic events around Ireland, Italy and Sweden. Natasha is currently working on a feature length experimental film, with support of the Arts Council, called Concrete Keys featuring Coneface as the central figure in multiple guises, sites and states of suspension to poetically examine the individual’s place in a rapidly transforming vision of Institutional society. She is also working on a future ambitious site specific performance work with initial development support of the Cork City Council.
Since 2007, Bourke has been involved in a broad range of solo & group projects, exhibitions, workshops, residencies and collectives. She has presented work, trained and collaborated with many established artists, directors and choreographers at events and venues across Ireland and Europe. Bourke’s solo Performance, Film And Installation work has featured in events including Indiecork, Deepfocus, Disappear Here & Cork International Film Festivals; EFS Screening at Filmbase Dublin, Sonicvigil and Cork Sound Fair; Body Noise Work with Kirkos Ensemble & Jennifer Walshe, The Dock, Leitrim & Templebar Gallery Dublin; Aisteach Project with Jennifer Walshe, The Model Sligo; Electric Picnic, Body & Soul Festivals; Dublin Live Art & Livestock Festivals, Dublin; Nest Performance Festival, Kilkenny; K-Fest Killorglan; Glow Festival, Cork Puppetry Festival, Quarter Block Party Festival, Feile Na Laoch Arts Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, St Finbarrs Festival, Midleton Arts Festival, Shandon Street Festival, Cork X Southwest Festival, Pitch’d Circus Festival & Multiple Circus Factory Events & Zolala Performance Event, Cork; Various Events at Sample Studios, Triskel & Sirius Arts Centres, Wandesford, Lavitt Glucksman Galleries, Cork; Greywood Arts Official Opening, Cork; Cork Culture Night Guest Performing Artist 2014-16 at Black Mariah/Project Space & Gulpd Café Triskel Arts Centre, Cork; Multiple Performances & Exhibitions at Mart Gallery, Dublin; Studio 6 Performance Series at Templebar Gallery; Vest & Page /IPA Performance Art Event, Forte Marghera, Venice; Moving Bodies Festival In Dublin & Turin, Italy; Going Solo Performance & Film Festival, Sweden. Natasha has been recipient of several awards including a Cork City Council Arts Office R&D for Project Award, Arts Council Film Project and Travel & Training Awards, Kirkos Ensemble Participating Artist for Body Noise Work; CIT Graduate Bursary Award, Cork Film Centre Best Film and Installation Graduate Award and Echo Echo Dance Festival Bursary; Selected International Vertical Dance Forum Participant In Ireland and Croatia. She teaches weekly creative movement and yoga classes at the Cope Foundation Midleton and Scoil Bhríde primary school, Crosshaven and is an active Member of VAI, ISACS, Naomóga Chorcaí Currach rowing, Cork Circus Factory, Clowns Without Borders, Outlaw Studios and Corks Dance community.