This series of artworks utilize stream of consciousness list-making as a way to think through categories of information and concepts. The lists explore phenomenon, responding to questions including “What protects? What is fleeting? What is exponential?” The emerging words become large 2D artworks with the words meticulously incised into pigment laden paper.
When do concepts become phenomenon?
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF WHAT SUSTAINS LIFE 2021
8'x 40' mural
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, University of South Dakota
Made through community writing workshops with science students and people in end of life care. Sponsored by the South Dakota Arts Commission and the University of South Dakota Galleries.
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF everything in albuquerque 2021
8'x 24' mural
Albuquerque City Hall, NM
Commissioned through the initiative Welcoming Walls in City Halls
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF what provides shelter 2021
8'x 24' mural
SEED Lab, Anchorage Museum, AK
Made through community writing workshops that addressed questions around shelter, home, and safety.
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF things that are permanent 2020
7'x 20' mural
Studio for Nature, Environment, Science, and Technology (NEST) at CU Boulder
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF things that are transitory 2020
8'x 24' mural
Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, Boulder
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF things that need TO BE PROTECTED 2019
4' x 30' mural
SITE Santa Fe education wing, NM
In collaboration with SITE Santa Fe's Education Department, Nina Elder asked K-12 students, “What needs to be protected?” Collaborating institutions include the Academy for Technology & the Classics, El Camino Real Academy, Elevation Children's Center, Girls Inc., Santa Fe County Youth Development Program, and Santa Fe Public School's Kiva Program. The mural resides in the Site Santa Fe Education Wing.
Three lists were reproduced as billboard-sized prints and mounted on the exterior of SITE Santa Fe. The images beneath the text represent the conceptual nature of the words. Can skin offer protection from uranium powder? Is an island that is being submerged by a rising ocean a fleeting thing?
aN INCOMPLETE LIST OF EVERYTHING IN ALASKA 2018
in the collection of the Anchorage Museum, AK
After 5 years of researching and working in remote parts of Alaska, Nina was asked to work with the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, interacting with the archives and collections of the Anchorage Museum. As a response to the impossible and colonial impulse to collect, label, and categorize, Nina made a drawing. The artwork materials include pulverized detritus collected from Anchorage Museum floors, graphite collected from Anchorage Museum Archive pencil sharpeners, dirt collected from Nina’s hiking boots after 26 hikes, campfire ash, and glacial silt.
Through stream of consciousness writing, Nina explores the phenomena that illustrate her more conceptual research. Asking questions such as “What is fleeting? What is exponential? She creates fields of words. She covers large pieces of paper in various pigments to further illustrate the phenomena and then incises the shapes of letters into the paper. Finally, after peeling away each letter’s shape, the ghosted words are revealed as a list. See more drawings.
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF EVERYTHING IN NEW MEXICO 2019
limited edition poster and t-shirt
The shirt was printed by Youth Works Santa Fe, an organization that professionally engages youth on the margins. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support their programming.