At First Sight

Natasha Caruana

Caruana’s project for the 2014 BMW Residency at the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, searches for the truth behind love at first sight or ‘coup de foudre’ (bolt of lightning in English). Her work explores personal experience alongside investigating the subject through the work of neuroscientists, anthropologists and evolutionary biologists.

Using photography as her tool, Caruana unpicks the personal experience of falling in love at first sight during her residency in Chalon. In her search for the truth she turns to science, Mother Nature and other people’s accounts of this romantic phenomenon.  

Science challenges the romantic, fairytale, happily-ever-after notion of love. Turning to Charles Darwin’s seminal text On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (published in 1859), and research by academic Alfred Kinsey who wrote Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (1948), and second book about female humans and sexual behaviour five years later, Caruana found the counter argument to her experience; she could not investigate the romance of humans without employing science to explore love at first sight in a critical, objective way.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Caruana is a photographic artist living and working in London. She has an MA in photography from the Royal College of Art, London and is a Senior Lecturer of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Surrey, UK. In 2010 Caruana co-founded the London based studioSTRIKE artists studios. In 2014 Caruana

was named as the winner of the BMW Artist in Residency Award 2014 at musée Nicéphore Niépce, France.

Caruana’s own art practice is grounded in research concerned with narratives of love, betrayal and fantasy. Significant to all Caruana’s work is the questioning of how today’s technology is impacting relationships.

Her work has been shown internationally from the United States, Poland, Germany, China, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Her series ‘Married Man’ and ‘Fairytale for Sale’ have been included in numerous contemporary photographic catalogues, the latter printed as a monograph, and both have toured widely. Her work is held in numerous private collections and in the public collections of the British Library, The Women’s Library and The Kinsey Institute in the United States.

Caruana was nominated and shortlisted for the 2014 Foam Paul Huf Award, the Deutsche Bank Pyramid prize in 2008 and for the National Magazine Awards in 2007. Caruana has been named as the one to watch in the Royal Photographic Society Journal and selected by the Humble Arts Foundation as one of 18 leading female art photographers currently working in the UK.