Catherine Nelson

A photographic portrait of artist Catherine Nelson in her studio.

Catherine Nelson is a sculptor and installation artist working primarily with wood, textiles, and metals. She received her BA in visual art, art history and Spanish at Duke University and her MFA in studio art from the University of Connecticut.

She has exhibited in spaces including BronxArtSpace in New York, Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver, AUTOMAT in Philadelphia, Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, Binyamina Gallery in Tel Aviv, and PHILOBIBLON in Rome. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Women's Studio Workshop and Denver Public Library's ideaLAB. She has collaborated with New Orleans-based dance company Known Mass and musician MJ Guider and has apprenticed in craft-based small businesses, all of which inform her approach to artmaking.

Artist Statement

My work reflects a curiosity about materials and their origins in the landscape. I collect, observe and compose with natural dyes, patinas, objects and drawings. I take cues from riverbank clutter and industrial waterways, mineral hues and local geology, lumber species and fishing traps. I arrange both made and found objects into vignettes that explore dynamics of agency and material.

I am interested in physical thinking and embodied memory: a craftsperson's expertise, a dancer's improvised phrase. Having grown up in Louisiana, issues of toxicity and climate change also concern me; turning my attention to my senses soothes personal and shared grief. Weaving these influences together, my work serves as an experimental re-mapping, a space to practice new ways of relating to my surroundings.