Each glass component is aesthetically unique and can function independently; however, what brings greater meaning to the work is the tension or lack thereof in the negative spaces between objects. Rodrigues has put great care and attention into the design of angles and cuts and how they affect these relationships. Her work holds strong references to casual interaction as well as intimate connections. For example, in Proximity & Touch #12, a large opaque black teardrop-shape glass form with a rough surface tenuously balances off centre a miniscule rounded transparent green glass gem. The depth of the black glass creates such an ominous weight that it feels as though the space between it and the buoyant little gem could collapse at any moment. In other work, the negative space is neutralized by the angles created. These works convey a more relaxed feeling and sometimes seemingly no relationship at all to each other.
The relationships Rodrigues has intentionally created between the three-dimensional and two-dimensional objects in her work provokes questions as well as provides insight into how we interpret body language and what constitutes a relationship, no matter how insignificant the connection might seem. Proximity & Touch successfully translates the intangibility of a variety of relationships into tangible beautifully hand crafted objects.
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Natali was born in Kenya, to a German mother and Goan father. In 1975 the family immigrated to Canada. Her early education was in French, German and English. These various cultural facets could have lead to feelings of disenfranchisement and alienation. Fortunately the contrary was the case: what seems like disparate cultural elements are united by a rich familial history of story telling, of retaining and reinforcing identity through language, faith and journey.