“Before it can ever be the repose for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.” Ken Taylor
I see making my work as archived memories deep beyond the surface mantle, the earth survives as physical documentation of recollection and reflection. The act of utilizing clay and earth from specific places therefore, literally and conceptually connects my work to a place of origin and the layers of nostalgia associated with it. Place is my material and my vehicle for addressing these ideas.
Having the ability to transcend these connections and activate my inner voice is of great importance. Through a spiritual connection I take the memory of the land to create the work. Similar to the strata of earth, my work is comprised of layers, of daily human observations and the geo-historical knowledge that is held inside of clay. We ultimately depend on the health of the planet in order to continue for future generations. We are the catalyst to preserve this place. We can move fast like water flowing over rocks and boulders or slowly like plates deep beneath the earth’s surface.
Nathan was born in Grand Rapids, MI and has lived all around the country and traveled widely throughout the USA, Europe, and Japan. He received his BFA in Studio Art and Land Art from the University of New Mexico. It was in the American Southwest that he began to see the greater potential of earth and materials in his paintings and installations. His investigation of alternative materials and ceramics has continued beyond his MFA work at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 2007, the State of Michigan commissioned him to design and develop the Governor’s Award for Arts and Culture. He was the first prize award winner in painting at the 2009 Festival for the Arts in Grand Rapids, MI.
Nathan teaches ceramic courses and workshops to adults, college students, and the youth. He was working in Skælskør, Denmark at Guldagergaard as the Kiln Yard Technician in 2015-16. Since his return to the states, he has been Adjunct Professor of Studio Art Ceramics at Wofford College and Lander University in South Carolina. Nathan has made Red Lodge, MT his new home, where he enjoys mountain skiing, hiking, and land exploring with his dog Ojo. You can find him exhibiting his work regionally and nationally.