Meet local artist Natusha Croes: “I’m an artist that creates from a sense of deep reverence towards Aruba’s natural heritage”

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“I’m led by a deep sense of longing and child-like curiosity to play and create from an immediate interaction with the landscape. Manifesting from an urgency to reconnect with the island from which I originate,” Natusha Croes, local artist shares her story with Aruba Today. After being gone for almost a decade, reconnecting back with the organisms that the landscape permitted enabled her to come in communion with a portal that connects Croes with everything that existed before and will continue existing after her.

Her first artistic production that establishes this attempt was TACTUS. This is a short film and live performance that showcases Croes’ connection with the cultural memory reconnecting back with the island ignited within. Croes: “Descending from a family of avid musicians made this medium the most accessible for me to communicate. TACTUS, was a musical and poetic transmission, from the engagement with the cacti organisms that exist here.” Activating sonically its thorns and creating rhythms upon which she sang and performed. From there on her curiosity grew. To create from what Aruba has to give. We may describe her as an emerging artist, writer, lover, wellness advocate and all the labels that associate with the above mentioned words.

An eco-friendly artistic interpretation of Aruba

A year ago Croes finished her MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths University of London after obtaining a BA in Audio Visual Fine Arts at Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. “I came back after obtaining my Masters of Arts degree in Performance making to conduct an artistic research. Which is developing into a business proposal which will deliver to our visitors and locals a more eco-friendly artistic interpretation of Aruba.” Creating a wellness oriented map of experiences which takes the audience into an in-depth exploration of Aruba’s landscape. However, with a concentration and sense of reverence for one location at the time. “From a simple touch I developed CARICIA. A soothing and gentle interaction that brings to you an in-depth artistic exploration to our first location on the map of exploration, namely Daimari.”

She aims to bring to the wider audience its natural habitat; what grows there, what lives there, and it’s archeological, ecological and geological value. But especially the songs and over all stories that this reconnection produces. Delivering to you an artistic interpretation that enables the music from this engagement to be excreted into existence. “I see myself as a transmitter of the ancient wisdom that lives within this first location.  I have been using the method of sampling and vocalization/harmonization as a means to compose. Using mainly my voice and the landscape as instruments.” Alongside the more corporeal formations that come from the materiality of the space she intends to express this through a visual album that will be accompanied with short films. And this is the method that she is choosing to engage and continuously create.

Showing the internal and external beauty

“My intention is to share this, and to make these artistic eco experiences available in live space. Curating life performances, on a one-on-one basis maintaining health and safety regulations. Doing pop-ups across different available venues and spaces on the island to make my artistic product available.” Croes and her team are still in post-production and production mode; finalizing the program and branding. She is creating on a multilingual basis to acknowledge the multiculturalism from which locals were bred into existence. She likes to start bridging towards the wider community regarding her process. “Showing our visitors the internal and external beauty that this place permits once we allow ourselves to connect with it. Inciting a sense of wellness.”

FARPA foundation, Unoca Aruba, Maatschappelijke Bijdrage and Culturismo are powering the artist’s project.