Natalie Gerber began her studies in 1995 at The Natal Technikon, in the Fashion Design program, Durban (South Africa). After immigrating to Canada her interests in textiles and design developed while studying classical tailoring and couture design under Calgary designer Mithè de Fontenay. Enrolling at the Alberta College of Art & Design, Natalie earned a BFA Degree (with Distinction) in Fibre/Textiles in 2003, and later in 2007, a post-graduate Certificate in Creative Pattern Cutting for the Fashion Industry, from the London College of Fashion in London (England). Natalie currently maintains a full-time studio practice in Calgary and is represented in boutiques and galleries across Canada.
As an artist, designer and maker I am inspired to create functional design for everyday living. While craftsmanship is important to my creative process, so too is function. I combine my love for illustration, surface design, clean lines and hand-printed fabrics with conscious material choices and in-studio practices. My South African background influences my aesthetic, while inspiration is drawn from styles that include Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern design. From detailed sketches to mark making and loose line drawings, I explore the above within my work and transfer the imagery onto textiles through silkscreen printing. While my studio focus is on boutique textile printing I am further motivated by interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations. Creative alliances provide opportunities for knowledge sharing that I believe contribute to rounding out my experience as an artist and designer. This ethos has extended into my studio practice through special projects with a social responsibility – most recently collaborating with a group of artists to develop imagery for print in the township of KwaDabeka. Located outside of my hometown of Durban, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. This fair trade opportunity has inspired me to further explore community initiatives that support sustainable futures.