ArtSpring/Summer 2023

Amy Nelder — Visual Art

Not a Fragile Flower, Build Your Own Eden Series


Artist Statement

Some months into the first year of the lockdown, I noticed that we had started working
inside-out, cherishing what parts of nature we could bring into our home from the
outside – flowers, rocks, air. Eventually it struck me that we were constructing our own
Garden of Eden inside the house. Many people became hyperaware of what they
wanted to bring into their homes, but also their minds. For some, it became a time of
forced self-reflection, and they went back out into the world heavily influenced by what
what gardens they brought in, and what they kept out of their space. Some folks
gathered the strength to express themselves in new ways they hadn’t had the strength
to actualize. I began to be aware and inspired by a new concept,
“Build-Your-Own-Eden.” Just bringing flowers into the dining room transforms the home
and makes me think about the Earth outside and my own terrain within. Paintings in this
series include leaves from my own garden mixed with florist flowers, just as I mix new
ideas with ones I previously believed. Other layers here are dialogues on
self-expression, reflections on psychic and bodily autonomy, social activism, and making
change inside and out.

Artist Bio

California painter Amy Nelder calls her work “Pop Trompe L’oeil.” Employing the
high realism of Dutch still lifes, but infused with pop content, she celebrates
otherwise unsung domestic moments, conveying messages of romantic,
dramatic, or contemporary socio-political import – but with a sense of lightness
and even humor. Nelder’s beautiful imagery aways tells a story. She conveys the
subtle but meaningful layers of simple human interaction, appreciation of the
joys, and ironies, of life. Museum credentials include the de Young Museum (San
Francisco), Chianciano Biennale (Tuscany), London Art Biennale, solo show at
the Grants Pass Museum, Coos Art Museum, Haggin Museum and more.

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The author: Debra Marquart