MJ Anderson Work in progress: autumn 2009

About the Artist

I am an artist dealing with personal, social and political themes. I carve stone because I feel it is the least artificial of art forms and the most enduring to our humanity. While classical imagery of the figure is predominantly from a male perspective, my work is often that of a woman carving the story of woman in the first person. Much of my figurative sculpture focuses on an unapologetic pose, front on and present, a portrait of woman as participant in the viewing of herself.

Instead of trying to carve figures and images -- whether realistic or abstract, I try to carve what it feels like to be human, to convey the unspoken emotions of our being here, to create an image of the intangible.

When I started making sculpture in the (male dominated) field of stone carving,
I decided to give my work a strong female voice, addressing the identity of women from our own perspective rather than from the objectification imposed upon us.
I speak to how it feels to be woman, rather than how we look or pose to be appreciated by society’s male dominated audience. As society has seen little change, my message is still the same. I choose to carve a woman’s feelings in stone as I feel the material gives timeless strength to the message, creating images representing the beauty of women’s resilience. This theme has never lost it’s need of expression and I expect to continue to carve/create in this vein for my entire career.

What has changed these past few years is that I am also distilling the message; distilling how I see myself and the world, making abstract sculpture in more essential forms, addressing climate change and my emotional reaction to it with forms that have morphed from vessel and well to oasis and reservoir, from the calm of moonlight to creative chaos of cyclones. I approach the materials of marble and onyx as a time-based integration of our planet’s geologic history to create objects which can remind us of what we have, what is at stake--- and of what we are losing.
I consciously make stone sculpture to create artifact of our time, future artifact which may one day represent my sacred longing for sustainability.