Liisa Nelson

Artist Statement

Like poetry, my work resists categorization. I am not part of any movement. My primary motivations are curiosity and awe. Materials have transformative effects, have transcendent consequences.

Two like forms side by side conjure magnetism. They may read as siblings, lovers, multiple aspects of a self, as self and ‘other’, as cells dividing and multiplying, or as branches of simultaneous potentiality. Longing is inherent. The symmetry and scale evoke bodies, faces, eyes, and psychological implications.

Juxtaposition creates tension. Rigid geometric bars melt into pinkish soft ripples. A full volumetric, chrome-yellow limb flattens to an unglazed terra-cotta ‘shadow’. A room-sized ruffled fabric garden hangs across from a photograph of the same green ruffles penetrated by an androgynous face on the verge of biting an apple. Object, image, and inhabitation blend into one another.

Our culture separates body & mind, religion & politics, male & female, right & wrong, self & other, and on and on. Are any of these truly mutually exclusive? I work to recognize paradox and the spectrum of complexity between named categories.

-- Liisa Nelson


I am an emerging artist and a 2018 MFA graduate of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. I completed a post bac program at the University of Colorado Boulder (2015) and have a BFA in 3D Media from Pacific Lutheran University (2009).

I grew up in Montana in a place where people don’t often leave. My teachers, family, friends, and colleagues are my greatest assets. I look forward to continuing to engage an ever-deepening pool of burning questions through a career of art making, teaching, travel, and active community involvement.

— Liisa Nelson