Laurence Van Nieuwenhoven - Galerie de l'ô

"Nathalie Doyen façonne la terre au même titre que la nature son paysage.
Elle ne craint ni la répétition du geste, ni celle de la forme,
ceux-ci respectent le rythme de son processus créatif.
Intuitive, Nathalie Doyen saisit l’instant, une vision, une sensation.
Observatrice, elle s’imprègne de ce nouvel univers, Habitée, elle transcende l’impalpable.
Modeste, elle délivre ensuite par bribes le fruit de son "cheminement" ..."

February 2003 - Bénédicte MERLAND

Nathalie Doyen crafts her art in a soft simplicity.
She experiments, following her intuition, and meticulously creates a multitude of modules, which, once assembled, compose a graphic and musical space, in which she questions structure, as well as movement, rhythm and time.

Each one of her exhibits becomes a manifestation of a delicate state in which a vast, yet invisible process of creation is revealed. Her "setting in sight" (positioning) can be likened to an ephemeral crystallization of research into perpetual transformations.

Her "journey scrolls" are symbolic of this process: never exposed or revealed to the visitor, they are nevertheless fundamental in the creative journey of the artist.

Crafted patiently over the years, they are subjective recordings of fragments of the world, concealing a great number of drawings, sifted from elements of the landscape and the environment.

It is in these sets of references that the artist chooses the structures for the majority of her compositions.
She relies on various resources to assist her in the concretisation of the graphic modules, but, more often, this ceramist by formation devotes herself to the pleasure of working with earth.

Just like "journey scrolls" which have no beginning or end, the compositions resulting from the assembly of these modules have a rhythm of their own: cyclic, indefinite, sequential….

Pieces of artwork like "Passage" – a photographic testimony within a snow-covered landscape of a graphic transcription by the artist – reveal the transitory character of her artworks.

They are fashioned by following a certain number of construction formulas, each of which is adapted to its proper presentation space.


The specific rhythm of Nathalie Doyen’s artwork could be compared to improvisations in music, where the unfolding as a whole is fixed but where the details are determined by chance and place; a musical form that is open to the choices of its interpreter.
A proximity rapport is necessary to perceive, beyond the actual compositions, the richness of the notes that constitute the compositions.

The artist effectively designs her works as sober partitions that reveal many vibrations, which are open to multiple interpretations.
To this effect, light and shadow, as well as their respective modulations, play a part in determining the finishing touches of her work: they evoke subtle variations in the many shades of white that are used in her artwork.

The artist has also designed several works of art that offer the visitor – in a contemplative or playful way - the possibility of approaching her artwork in an exponential number of combinations.

November 2001 - Catherine Charlier

Leaving the studio represents the first step on a long journey from thought to act. Observation, that elementary yet often dense but fertile attitude, nourishes the initially uncertain gesture.
The wrist searches its rhythm, the image is tamed and allows itself to be laid down on the long and narrow sheets of paper: travelogues, scrolls of memory.
Ancestor of the sacred book, the scrolls offer a greater freedom.
They contribute to the creation process …
Thoughts twist and turn as the hand unwinds… the sands of time fall to the rhythm of these topographic signs; a new writing begins to sprout.

To Nathalie Doyen, these sketches of the environment suggest the rejection of the anecdotal, the refusal of the scale of size. The dimension of the cloud competes with the one of the stone, the dust, and the horizon, and the height of the chimney makes fun of the height of the houses.
Here and there shapes begin to emerge: mineral, zoomorphic… organic.

Patience gives birth to form. The fixed image is given body in the workshop.
Small volumes of plaster (of earthenware, porcelain or concrete) multiply.
Invasion is their modus operandi.

Initially dispersed, they subsequently concentrate in a centrifugal movement and finally finish their race, disseminated, as if the hand had just sown them.


The last step consists in setting up the offered and/or selected site. Such intervention takes place in a minimalist way that is never brutal. The artist carefully stays clear of imposing herself on the nature of the site, and refuses to confront it in order to guarantee its harmony. The instrumentation wants to be playful.

This mosaic of small white structures, with elementary geometry, invites the light to be diffused thus evoking the milky architecture of Eastern cities. These virginal traces convey fullness as well as emptiness, transition as well as continuity. They invite your stride to humbly embrace a different geography of the landscape.

The previous years also speak of


  • whispered movements
  • sober colour schemes (white – black – earthy hues),
  • delicate techniques
  • sensual materials (lines of leaves, circles of scales, imprints in snow, a paper needlepoint with an infinite number of stitches, complicity of the light…)
  • "virile" materials (austere brick walls on a dead end).

While these past, present and future works are clad in discretion, they nevertheless exude a vast and effective confidence. From this point of view, they confirm the remark by the extravagant and ever pertinent Joseph Beuys (1921-1986): “The world depends on the constellation of some pieces of matter”.