The Arthur's lobby proudly features Memento Mori  by Natasha Bacca.

Natasha Bacca is an artist in Oregon, residing part-time in both Bend and Portland.  Her artwork explores light, combining contemporary and archaic processes to push the bounds of conventional photography.  Her artwork has been exhibited internationally and is featured in private, public, and corporate collections.

 Collectors of her artwork include NASA, Hilton Hotels, Kaiser Permanente hospitals, The Rocky Mountain Chalet, Torchlight Inn, Boise Hillside Suites, Northern Arizona University, University of Oregon, Lane Community College, Central Oregon Community College, Deschutes Brewery, Rodney Strong Winery, and many more. Additionally her artwork has been featured on Billboards across the United States, television commercials, CBS's television show 'Two Broke Girls', and ABC's television shows 'Last Man Standing' and 'Scandal.'  In November 2010, Oregon Public Broadcasting featured her process and artworks on the Emmy award winning television series Oregon Art Beat.

 Creating unique camera-less art in a darkroom she revisits the wonder of photography's invention and process.  Merging current technologies with deep-rooted photographic practices, she uses light emitting devices to brush color into form across light-sensitive paper.  A unique approach to the production of photographic art, she does not document an existing image but rather, like a painter, generates an original one.  Manipulating color, intensity, and direction of light, she literally paints with light. In January 2011, she was granted a US patent for the process by which she creates her art.



Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that translates to "Remember your mortality." The Memento is an artistic theme dating back to antiquity, and it refers to a genre of artworks that vary widely but which share a common purpose: to remind people of their mortality. More than a work of art, Memento Mori acts as a catalyst for the human imagination to engage with questions surrounding the nature of life and death; on the mortal constraints of all people, and the finite, fragile boundaries of the human body. 

The tree of life has been used as a symbol by all branches of human knowing. It emerges in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies; it concedes a mysterious reality alluding to the interconnectedness of all life on our planet, and provides a metaphor for our common, evolutionary ancestry. The tree exhibits a transitory beauty, an ephemeral symbol of mortality that engages the Earth as a living medium, and illustrates the passage of time. 

The triptych structure of Memento Mori deepens the symbolism of the tree itself— branches reaching to the sky, roots plunging deep in the earth, and a trunk planted firmly in between. The tree dwells in three worlds and offers a fragile link between heaven, earth, and underworld. Uniting above and below, the passage of growth and decay, the tree takes on the appearance of death in the winter, only to sprout new branches with the return of spring. In this way, the tree is a symbol of resurrection, a potent medium erupting from unbroken terrains, flourishing in open air, and falling into dark geographies once more. 

Memento Mori acquires a moralizing purpose—the prospect of death serves to emphasize the emptiness and fleetingness of earthly pleasures, luxuries, and achievements, and thus serves as an invitation to focus one's thoughts on the fragility of existence and the prospect of the afterlife. Memento Mori reveals the multifaceted nature of the death-rebirth mystery and serves to illuminate the human life cycle. 

Viewers of Memento Mori are invited to contemplate life and death from multiple points of view. The tree image is a living Memento Mori. Its purpose is to remind the viewer that death is an unavoidable part of life, something to be prepared for at all times. But the image of the tree also reminds us of something startling and important: life is meaningful, temporary, and sacred. 


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Follow these links for more information on other Art at the Arthur projects;

 Our City – Then and Now and artist Sarah Grew.