Natasja Kensmil refers often to human conditions and the interplay between history and the present. In Hell's Angels (2007), a central role was given to the Romanov family, the last Tsar of Russia. ЯAW Couples (2009) consisted of portraits of famous historical couples, often married and into a political position very young because of the untimely death of their predecessors. The title, with mirrored R, referred to the war as well. Love in times of war, but also a reference to fights within human relationships, leading to isolation and loneliness.
In Sleeping Beauty (2011) the confrontation between matter and spirit, eternity and transience played an important role again. Natasja Kensmil uses history in her work because she is convinced that the present exists in relation and in negotiation with the past. In her work she questions repeatedly the relationship between man and his identity, the society in which he lives, religion, nature and himself. Construction and destruction are clearly visible in nature and man; this movement is an essential process in the urge for change and renewal.
Central in Sleeping Beauty were several portraits of children carefully lain in state, surrounded by a decorative frame. These portraits are inspired by post-mortem photography, a genre that was particularly popular in the late 19th century. In this genre, the horrific death was photographed as if he is in deep sleep. The infants lie, often with a doll, with half open eyes in a coffin that could be a cradle a well.
In the series of drawings entitled Shadow Fields Natasha Kensmil explored the different manifestations of the cross. The crosses stand in the center of the drawing, the background is formed by anonymous figures and landscapes. The recurring black area in Shadow Fields refers to the black square of Malevich, but also to the series of crosses that Arnulf Rainer made in the fifties. Kensmil’s drawings are always composed of multiple, isolated layers. You can see drowning people, a silhouette of a young girl, fighting knights and shooting soldiers, Empress Alexandra Fjodorovna surrounded by skulls and a hanged figure.