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black holes & voids

2023 - present


This series of experimental projects incorporates diverse materials and ideas to embrace uncomfortable truths; the process invites beauty and bewilderment to mingle. I reach towards an awkward embrace of life in the end time. This speculative planetary future intrigues like a dark disco ball of ecological grief, a warmly inviting black hole, an approachable asteroid. I’m using empathy, humor, mystery, and camp to subvert both the institutional opacity of climate science and the social paralysis of climate catastrophe. With my access to science and wild places, I feel an urgent imperative to create personal, accessible spaces as an anecdote to overwhelming rapid climate collapse and social unrest. These strange objects imagine how humans are connected to natural cycles of life and death, emergence and extinction.



This project is made possible by support from the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, Watershed Center for Print, and Playa at Summer Lake.

apop epoch 2023  

a handmade accordion book consisting of 41 original prints plus handmade mirror-lined box

variable edition of 10

displayed upright, it up 13 feet of linear space and is intended to be seen in the round


apop - prefix, from Sanskrit ápa, meaning to separate, set down, or shed

epoch - a particular period of time marked by distinctive features


During a time of accelerating social and ecological upheaval, Nina Elder speculates about the beginning of a new era typified by release and shedding. This constellation of breath-based monoprints, archival pigment prints, and personal text is inspired by what persists in the presence of extreme forces such as volcanoes, blackholes, and grief. Apop Epoch shifts our gaze from the apocalyptic event horizon back to ourselves: our ability to let go of artifice, face endings, and find our most authentic mirrors and edges. 


Apop Epoch is a joint publication between Watershed Print Center and the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Ink prints and monoprints on Somerset satin paper. Binding and box made by Rory Sparks. All work on this edition was made possible with assistance of Hannah Bakken Morris. 

DOING AND undoing 2023 

13 minute looping video with sound

Featuring: Connie Zheng, Esy Casey and Nina Elder

Camera: Esy Casey

Sound: Darius Holbert

​​Bunny Mellon, wife of American Industrialist Paul Mellon, owned a collection of books on witchcraft and spells. Among them, a dog-eared page describes a spell for doing and undoing. Under a full moon, three white virgins are to pass stones from a graveyard from hand to hand, a dozen times in one direction, and then a dozen times in reverse. The Mellon family -  responsible for the extraordinary expansion and profiteering of extractive industries, banking, and shipping - were instrumental in the doing of American dominion and the undoing of ecological harmonies. This spell, cast under the full moon at the Mellon Estate, hails a new era of doing and undoing. 

until it is done 2023 

video and drawing/installation

Featuring: Ebony Frison, Genesis Turris, Laura Quintero Anton, Lucas Cantoni José, Nina Elder, Rosie Colette Christoper

Videography and editing: Hali Autumn

Sound: Brian Amsterdam

Production Manager: Hannah Bakken Morris

On November 4, 2023 Nina and a group of five artists conjured the void through meditation and mark making. Each artist was given a handmade desk, one sheet of paper, and one type of pencil or crayon. They sat in silence and simultaneously drew the void for five hours without rest. The performance was simultaneously an act of collective endurance, creation, and inviting the unknown. Until It Is Done is presented as six drawings and a 30 minute looping video with sound. 


To find herself within myriad forms of change and unrest, Nina has followed her instinct to repeatedly paint abstract circular shapes. Made outdoors and utilizing wild geomagnetic pigments and natural inks, the elements of wind, rain, and planetary movement influence aesthetics as much as the artist. The form is an open metaphor - it is a black hole, a womb, a seed, a skull, an asteroid, a time capsule, a vessel, and a passage into the future.

_____________ 2024

In response to the absurdity living in a time defined by loss, Nina began creating a series of intuitive, bizarre, humorous sculptures. Each is created from trash meticulously covered in sequins, sparkles, ruffles, and a rumpus of dark textures. These decoys for impending disaster help audiences develop relationships to what might feel too large to consider. Audiences can bump their head on soft asteroid, hug an inflatable disaster, snuggle up under a huge crocheted black hole, or take a swing at a meteorite pinata.