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Local artist ‘resurfaces’ with second solo show

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Cathy Dobson

These are happy days for Natali Bravo.

Her second one-woman photography show debuts this Saturday at TheStory, with a collection of photos that were not only a joy to create, but also convey that positive vibe.

“I call the show Resurfacing,” says the 33-year-old Bravo.

“It’s about taking back what I thought I lost when I was in a dark place.  It’s about being reborn and it’s about finding my femininity.”

Resurfacing is very different from her first solo show last year called “Into the Depth” when Bravo explored her struggle with depression.

“I had a toxic relationship where I felt I lost myself,” she explains. “This year’s show is about taking back my life and recovery.”

The six large photos that comprise Resurfacing depict women and flowers in a cleansing milk bath. Bravo has broken away from her tendency toward black and white and produced her new work in full colour.

“Hopefully, it will resonate with people, likely more with females, but I think with anyone who appreciates rebirth and finding the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bravo grew up in Sarnia and can barely remember a time she didn’t like to take photos.

“I bought a cheap point-and-shoot when I was a teenager and became completely obsessed,” she said.

In 2010, she went with her grandmother to Chile for two months to connect with relatives and came home with 5,000 photographs.

“That’s when my dad bought me my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera) and I found myself downtown a lot, taking photos of the waterfront and sunsets.”

She met a lot of people downtown, notably musician Jim Chevalier who invited Bravo to take photos of him recording at Adam Miner’s DNA Studio.

“Jim said he really liked my photos so I went and had a really great time.”

The experience turned her onto portrait taking and capturing candids of local musicians.

In 2015, Bravo graduated from Lambton College’s digital photography program.

Like many artists starting out, she’s both volunteered and been paid to photograph numerous local events. After graduation, she admits that it was tough for her to promote herself and tackle projects like she did at college.

She is still paying the bills fitting people for glasses but is also making time for her art.

She calls her first show last year “shockingly successful.”

“It was very well attended and I had so many great conversations with people who were inspired by my work to talk about mental health,” said Bravo.

Almost immediately, she began thinking about this year’s show to explain how her experience with depression has made her stronger and more sure of who she is.

Resurfacing is a licenced event that will incorporate music from three local musicians, all friends of Bravo.

Missy Burgess, Chad Cusack and Hank Ryder featuring Nic Wyatt will perform during the show.


WHAT: Resurfacing, a new photo series by Natali Bravo. (Note that there’s some nudity depicted)

WHEN: Saturday, June 1. 8 p.m.

WHERE: TheStory, 179 Christina St. North


The Arts Journal celebrates Sarnia’s cultural life. Send your ideas to Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.

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