Abigail Woods Anderson is a Minneapolis-based artist and educator. She received her BA from St. Olaf College where she studied fine art and biology. In her art career, science continues to inform her work. This transdisciplinary ethos is exemplified by Open Phenology, a series of nature walks and writings conceived to develop awareness of the senses and the ecology we inhabit (openphenology.blogspot.com).
Anderson currently works at the Walker Art Center in the department of education and community programs.
"I am interested in making. Whether a paper wasp constructing a nest or a printmaker pulling a proof, “making” is the fundamental way our energies and ingenuity become manifest in the material world. Engaged in making, we negotiate the tensions between complexity and simplicity, and we traverse the distance between the known and the novel. In my experience as a maker of objects, messages, and experiences, “making” is more than a means of manufacture. It is a method of discovery.
I am interested in noticing. My process hybridizes direct observation of the natural world with intense imaginative revision in the studio. In both of these engagements, energetic noticing is at the core. My work most interests me—and most challenges me—when depiction loses ground to speculation, when representation becomes distorted by interpretation.
I am interested in ideas. While the ideas vary from one body of work to the next, I consistently incubate ideas during the acts of noticing, making, and noticing what I make. As I work, my awareness is a pendulum alternating between the object at hand—its craft, its technique, its materiality—and the mental phenomena that accompany it: abstractions, interpretations, concepts, and questions. Making art is an opportunity to dwell in ideas, and enmesh those ideas in the temporal and material."