Natalie Ball’s work challenges dominant stories of Native American identities, taking to task the historical and visual legacies that misrepresent what it means to be “Indian.” She dives deeply into Indigenous histories and forms of knowledge, the use of language, and a wide range of materials—including animal hides, clothing, and synthetic hair—to create a new narrative around Indigenous experiences and identities. The two works that comprise Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Snake stand in dialogue with each other and with the viewer. Together, they offer a new way of looking at complex Indigenous narratives that, in the artist’s words, “are critical to further realizing the self, the nation, and necessarily, our shared experiences and histories.”
Born and raised in Portland, Ball now lives and works in Chiloquin, Oregon, which is part of her ancestral homelands.
Natalie Ball is the 2018 winner of the Betty Bowen Award. Established in 1977 to honor the legacy of Betty Bowen—an enthusiastic supporter of Northwest contemporary art—the annual award celebrates a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work.