Sandgazer (a.k.a. Jenny Natusch) began her career as a textile designer. Having embarked on many ventures including working in television, she was swept away in the “rat race” in an attempt to open a tree house hotel. In 2013 she eventually washed up in her tiny studio in a little Lancashire village, with only a microscope, a camera and no plan other than to work for her soul and for pleasure. It was just before moving to her studio that Jenny discovered the wonder of sand! A chance knock at the door one day, whilst gazing down her microscope, led Jenny to be invited to do a TEDx talk at Lancaster University, in 2014, which she titled ‘How A Grain of Sand Changed My Life’. Then, in 2015, a kindly gentlemen, with a new gallery in London’s creative hub of Covent Garden, spotted the TEDx talk and offered Jenny the gallery walls to hold the first solo exhibition of her works.
Jenny’s progression into artistic microphotography and sandgazing allows her to explore and share her discoveries with an audience. Impassioned about giving back, she has chosen to sell the original grains of sand that she captures and enlarges in her work at £1,000 each, with all the proceeds from the sand grains going to The Family Holiday Association, a charity that take deprived families to the seaside so children can feel sand between their toes for the first time.
Working with sand since 2013, Jenny’s works capture the detail in the naturally miniature, and focus on the usually unnoticed, commenting that ‘although it is one of the most abundant substances on earth, most of us don’t know what it looks like.’ A story and geological history accompanies each and every grain of sand in Jenny’s studio. Receiving samples from friends, family and fellow sandgazers from across the world, her collection spans from samples of local British beaches, to the far reaches of Antarctica. Carefully singling out individual grains of sand, and bringing them to the forefront of her work, the artist treats each one as a treasurable jewel, questioning society’s perceptions of the idea of value, and commenting on the spectrum of life that is missed by the rush of the routine, and the limitations of the naked eye.
Jenny’s microphotography allows us to see the ordinary as aesthetic works of art, blurring the boundaries between geology and art, and giving the illusion of landscapes and other objects within the minute grains of sand.
“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.”