Natalie MacKnight

Bookbinding and mixed media

About the artist

Artist Statement

Natalie MacKnight is an artist, bookbinder and graphic designer located in Bolton, Massachusetts. She has a BFA in printmaking and has studied bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She is a member of ArtSpace Maynard and the Bolton Artisans Guild.

It all starts with a feeling or emotional essence I’d like to convey… a memory from a particular moment in time or place that extends beyond the physicality of the landscape. The small-scale format of my collages conveys that sense of a precious, fleeting memory to be cherished. The intimacy of the small format allows the artwork to become a contemporary visual haiku, conveying mood and surroundings with brevity and grace.

Inspiration comes from the farmland of New England, with its often overgrown between-the-fields hedges, old elm or nut trees standing sentry, orchards and rolling hills. As a child, I was fortunate to live on a former dairy farm in Massachusetts—a gem within a small city. The area holds a tremendous diversity of landscape: fields, forests, hills, raspberry hedges, poplar stands, an old, scaled sycamore, chestnut and “bean” trees, a puffy smoke tree… These memories continue to influence the land in my mind’s eye.

The landscape as a whole is filled with rich textures that may only become apparent upon closer inspection. What may appear barren from a distance, may in fact be filled with lush mosses, lichens and berries. There’s an abstract quality about these natural textures and patterns that create their own landscape within. It’s a source of fascination that leads me to seek the abstract within the representational—a fascination that brings vitality to my art and vision.

My passion for texture, color and paper extends to creating distinctive journals and boxes utilizing time-honored methods and hand-sewn bindings of both my own and traditional designs.