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Alex Anderson

Born in Lawrence, Kansas, I grew up in proximity to the vastness of America’s high plains landscape, and from an early age, was brought into contact with nature through extended periods of time canoeing its rivers and lakes, camping and hiking there as well as parts of the US and Canada. I earned my B.A. in Art History from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, minoring in Philosophy. My time abroad brought me into contact with countless historical masterpieces as well as contemporary art and art criticism, the final catalyst for my decision to pursue visual art and criticism professionally. Since 2015 until its closure, I was the contributing arts writer for KCMetropolis.Org. In fall of 2020 I completed a Master of Letters in Sculpture at The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Currently, I live in Arizona, creating work in response to the Sonoran landscape. It is here where I completed my masters remotely in the high desert grasslands of The Land With No Name Sanctuary. This site presented a beautiful opportunity during a period where in person education was cut short due to the pandemic, and my return home was precipitated by the loss of my mother. In this sense, The Land With No Name Sanctuary is just that, a true sanctuary for which I will always be deeply grateful. 

Wind Phrases

Wind Sail Fallen
fallen

I seek to harness the intrinsic qualities of environmental elements in my work. The landscape itself activates my artworks, which provides the landscape a channel for its own agency through the work as a visual signal. I began a practice of intervening in landscape during my Masters work at the Glasgow School of Art, while gathering materials in the Scottish Highlands, and then further developing this practice at The Land With No Name Sanctuary during the first COVID lockdown.

 

My process begins exclusively with materials at hand, investigating the phenomena inherent in the land and generating the work from them. I often use objects such as oars, wheels, incense censers, high visibility vinyl, spear-like reflector rods and other surveying tools like theodolite stands to initiate a conversation around artistic and non-artistic forms of labor. Here at the LWNN, my works are (were) composed of stones, reflector rods, ham radio towers, Dacron aircraft fabric and reflective vinyls; an attempt to harness the wind and transform it into reflected light. My continued effort I view as one which draws on experiences and studies such as this into a new focus, motivated by expanding this practice through a study of landscapes within classical literature, focusing on Homer's Odyssey and the Greek concept of nostos (νόστος).: I wish to explore the grief of homecoming, in the sense of the desire for home, the arduousness of the journey, and the bittersweetness felt at actually arriving. I find that within the landscape, you have only to listen. From there the art will present itself.

 

I will be forever grateful to Kate Long Hodges, Ted Wade Springer, and to the Tohono O’Odam people whose land provided for me a place of sanctuary, arrival, a place to listen, and a home for these works to come into being.