Natasha van Netten & Matthew van Netten

Surface Tension

April 7 – 23, 2023

The exhibition Surface Tension highlights the dramatic forms found in mountain ranges and ocean waves through photography, paint, graphite and ink. Although these enormous geographic masses appear to exist in opposition, they share visual similarities. These parallels question which form is represented. Natasha van Netten and Matthew van Netten’s exhibition investigates the harmony that can exist between conflicting forms, blurring the line between solid and liquid.

There is an undulating thread of connection that runs through the forms of waves and mountains—from crests and troughs to peaks and valleys. The work in this show is the artists’ exploration of this phenomenon, using abstraction as a starting point to create. By eliminating references to scale, a mountain peak can become a cresting wave, and a stormy sea can become jagged mountains. Through their various mediums, the artists have chosen to create work that isolates portions of their subject matter and poses questions of how we perceive visual information.  

Throughout their relationship, the artists have had the unique opportunity to live and work in the mountains of Jasper National Park and on a converted icebreaking sailing vessel in the Mediterranean Sea. These experiences of inhabiting immense and often daunting natural spaces have given them a deep respect for the power of nature. Their conversations about these experiences have led them to create Surface Tension.

About the Artists

Matthew van Netten is a self-taught landscape and travel photographer from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In his practice, he is often drawn to photographing locations in nature that are physically challenging to reach and absent of human presence. A reoccurring theme in Matthew’s work is contrasting light and lack of reference to scale. He is currently pursuing a psychology degree through the University of Victoria, which also informs and influences his artistic practice.  

You can find more information about Matthew’s photography at and @mvnphotography

Natasha van Netten is a Canadian visual artist based in Victoria, B.C. Her practice focuses on whales, cetology and marine sciences. As a multi-disciplinary artist, she uses a variety of mediums to explore scientific information. Natasha received a Diploma of Fine Art from the Vancouver Island School of Art in 2016 and has exhibited in Canada, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom and the USA.

You can find more information about Natasha’s art at and @n_van_netten.

Opening night:

Friday, April 7 23, 2023, from 7 – 9 pm

Gallery hours:

Open every weekend from Saturday, April 8 until Sunday, April 23 from 11 am 4 pm

Xchanges gratefully acknowledges the support of the Province of British Columbia and the Capital Regional District for our gallery programs.

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