Catalina Christensen

Catalina is a Colombian artist/architect whose work is inspired by the natural world in relation to memories and recollections of journeys to wild and isolated places, which invoke in her a sense of freedom. Her aim is to portray her experience of being in nature through an evocative painting language that depicts the essence and atmosphere of a place, rather than focusing on its physical reality.

Fascinated with experimentation and the alchemy of materials, Catalina uses natural and unusual materials like coffee and metal powders. Whenever possible she extracts Earth pigments from specific locations. Her search for natural blues and greens brought her to experiment with the application of chemical processes to prime materials – a line of enquire that continues to the present. Both her earth and metal pigments are used in the creation of her paintings and 3D works.

Process and materiality are at the core of her practice. However, colour, surface and texture are also important. The painting process starts with an initial stain that will determine the development of the composition. She reacts to each consecutive mark during the process leaving traces of the history of the painting. “Dual canvas” – with a perpendicular plane on the canvas – allows her to address her human rights and environmental concerns. A desire to have an environmentally safe practice saw the transition from traditional oil painting to egg tempera.

For her, the preparation of the pigments is an artistic endeavour, therefor she includes them in her exhibitions. She is in the process of creating a comprehensive pigment collection that comprises her own pigments, donations, and exchanges with other artists.

Catalina is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and co-founder of the Wilderness Art Collective.

Instagram: @Catalina.Christensen

Detail of pigments installation from the LANDLINES exhibition at The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 2019
Have you ever wondered how pigments are made? Workshop at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
IMPOSITION – Metal pigments, indigo and egg tempera on canvas 90x90cm
The Secret World of Ice, (detail) 2019
Cuboid ice piece over a steel structure on a glass cube. 40x40x60cm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), LANDLINES exhibition, 2019
Traces 2, 2018
Natural rock & charcoal pigments and egg tempera on canvas 120x120cm

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