Liisa Nelson

Contemporary Artist | Teacher | Curator 


I was born and raised in Montana, the wildness of nature gave me awe. I come from a long line of builders. My father is one of them, in addition to his career as a lutheran minister. My mother is a retired nurse. Theres an anecdote my father likes to tell of when I was a small child and I asked him "Dad, whats inside me? God and germs?" 

Always the inquisitive child, I sought to understand relationships between the physical and the spiritual, the body, the mind, the soul. As an adult I continue to ask the same questions, now through the lens of cultural reflection and various scientific, anthropological, and historical research as well as my own physical, psychological, energetic, and spiritual experience. 

Engaging with materials provides embodiment for these questions, the reflections of truths as I see them, and meditations on culture and the trials of the human race at this precarious moment in our world, and the transcendence of nature, the peace of deep time and space.

Artist Statement

Materials compel me the most.

How a thing is put together 

                     and how it comes apart

How its formed in nature and broken down and re-formed 


A lump of clay for example, or a strip of woven wool

Its ontology …everything it has ever been through

                                         its deep time. 


The particles that make it up…. How many bodies they have been part of? 

…The qualities of their particles 

                                                       - plates, fibers, chains of interlocking proteins, crystals. 


The histories materials carry- natural and anthropological. 

Objects reflect thoughts, feelings,  and the sights the makers have seen… 


What objects were being traded at the time, from where and how did those objects and interactions spread stories and ideas around the world?


Who were the carriers and how did their perspectives inform the way the objects were received and then interpreted into more objects?


Everything interacts and spreads to everything else in time. 

We are in a closed system where things are constantly becoming each other. 


Deluze describes the rhizomatic nature of ideas. 

                             The connectedness of every point to every other. 




A weaving together of one thing into the next is central to my work.


My forms mirror bodies, reflect anatomical scale, and cause a feeling of physical touch.


A great love I have is the gestural, energetic mark. 


I value authenticity more than skillful craft.


I’m interested in histories that are largely lost - in mystery, spiritual experience, mysticism, quietude, and the specificity of certain poems. 


I’m interested in compassion, equality, and listening.

I’m interested in dancing, music, tea, olives, and all forms of cultural cuisine. 


Im interested in punk rock, classical guitars, Japanese fashion, the softness of bodies, microbiology, and mythological stories. 


My work is an embodiment of curiosity and awe. 

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