An Artist and her Craft

By Abraham Park

There’s an artist at Holy Trinity. A small, pixie haired woman with an English accent and a flair for the musical has taken up residence within the parish halls. It’s often a common sight to see her playing on the piano in the morning hours during the week and not entirely uncommon to see her play during services on Sunday either, wielding her oboe with masterful technique.

Her name is Natalie Twigg and she’s been Holy Trinity’s Artist in Residence for the past 20 months.

Natalie may be a familiar face to members of Holy Trinity now, but that wasn’t always the case. Originally from Loughborough, UK, she crossed the pond to America in 1996 to work as a musician.

“I was working with the Boston Valley Orchestra, freelancing in Boston, and really enjoying it,” Natalie said.

After spending time in Boston, she decided to take a two year sabbatical to explore the world and give herself the freedom to take part in different projects wherever it might lead.

“I could go anywhere in the world and I was thinking Tibet or Nepal or somewhere really wow,” said Natalie.

It wasn’t long, though, before these grand plans were abandoned.

While working in Kansas City, she felt a call to stay grounded, at least for the moment.

“My whole life just shifted,” said Natalie. “I just thought, I do, I have to be here because this is the time and place.”

Natalie spent a total of 7 years in Kansas City, meeting her husband and starting a family, before moving to Seattle for five years. She finally came to Atlanta four years ago. It wasn’t until about two years ago, though, that she began to become a part of Holy Trinity’s family.

“My piano was still in Seattle, [and I was] waiting for it to arrive,” said Natalie. “So Ashford came to the preschool here and I came in and saw Fr. Greg. I just said, ‘Could I practice on the piano?’ and that’s kind of how that connection started.”

It wasn’t much longer after that before Natalie had a meeting with Fr. Greg to discuss about becoming Holy Trinity’s Artist in Residence and she’s remained here ever since.

As Holy Trinity’s Artist in Residence, Natalie has her own office space and practices on the piano at Holy Trinity in return for concerts or performances for Holy Trinity and the community it serves. She’s had a handful of performances at Holy Trinity already and has another one scheduled on October 26.

Titled “The Gallery,” it’s a musical performance by Natalie accompanied by several paintings by Todd Alexander. It’s been multiple years in the making and all the music and artwork is original.

“It all started about seven years ago,” said Natalie.

Originally a collaboration featuring letters Natalie received from fans and supporters, it morphed into something different.

“As it was developing, the music and story was coming together and painting themselves.”

It’s a mixture of music and art, songs by Natalie coming together with twelve art pieces by Todd Alexander. The performance on the 26th is free for all visitors and promises to be a wondrous marriage of visual and musical harmony.

For Natalie, though, it’s not just a performance for the audience. It’s also a way to tell a story that’s been growing for years to an audience of any background.

“It’s my personal belief systems and what it’s based on,” said Natalie.

When asked if it was a spiritual exercise for her, she didn’t necessarily think so.

“Not really,” Natalie said, mentioning that it [the performance] was a story that meant a lot to her. What she did hope for, though, was that “anybody can interpret [the performance] how they want to.”