Artist’s portraits gain international attention

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The eyes have it... Nelson artist Natalia Chaplin, is spending three weeks in Gore catching up with family members and displaying some of her works which include 21 portraits. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A Nelson artist who has created portraits for royalty and movie stars is reconnecting with her Gore roots.

Natalia Chaplin is spending three weeks in the town catching up with family.

Chaplin said as a child she spent many Christmas holidays in Gore because her mother, Airdrie (nee Ramsay), grew up in Gore.

“The majority of Mum’s family’s in Gore,” Chaplin said.

Apart from the holidays she had also spent some time living in the district.

“I went to school with my cousin for a while – to Knapdale.”

Chaplin is gaining international attention because of her artwork.

Through the internet she received a commission from Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence.

“[She] saw my art and thought [she] would like to commission me.

“I painted her dog.”

The portrait she drew of Prince George was given to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, when they toured New Zealand and Prince Harry received a portrait of himself.

Dame Judi Dench was another client Chaplin has done a portrait of.

“She got her grandson to take a photo of her with it as well, and sent that to me, which I thought was really sweet.

“I was just blown away really – she’s such a nice person.”

Chaplin completed a bachelor of arts and media degree at the Nelson Institute of Technology in 2016.

She uses many different media in her art work including pastel, pencil and charcoal and paint.

Chaplin’s uncle, Ross Ramsay, said even though his niece had lived in England for a time and now Nelson, she had a soft spot for Gore, having some of her holidays here.

“She’s really a Gore girl at heart,” Mr Ramsay said.

Chaplin was multi-talented and could play a range of instruments, he said.

“She’s humble but extremely intelligent – she can talk at any level.”

The family were proud of Chaplin’s achievements to date.

“She’s got a big name connections – I can see that she’s going places.

While in Gore, Chaplin was holding a pop-up exhibition in a shop on the corner of Mersey and Main Sts.

“I wanted to bring the exhibition down here so they [family] could all get a peek and [I] could spend some time with them.

“We’ve got a close sort of family.”

Part of the exhibition was a group of 21 pastel drawings of people’s faces, concentrating onthe eyes.

She enjoyed drawing faces and in particular the eyes, which revealed so much of the person.

The 21 portraits are not named and if people can guess which eyes belong to which famous person, they have a chance of winning a piece of artwork.