Meet Artist-in-Residence
Derek Glenn Martin

March 28, 2017

Posted In: 2016 Artists in Residence, Blog

Where did you grow up?
Pittsburgh, Penn., for most of my childhood and adolescent life with a two-year span in Florida where Native Culture left its first impressions upon me. From there, as perpetual as “growing up,” I scattered myself throughout the globe. London, Cairo, Poland and many half-year or less stays elsewhere near or across from the aforementioned.

How did you find out about Anderson Ranch Arts Center?
2003 is when I first came in contact with Anderson Ranch Art Center. I recall seeing a large poster from an earlier NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts) conference that was hung on Slippery Rock University’s Pot Shop wall – the Ranch seemed like a fascinating place.

What are you working on during your residency?
I am attempting to continue an ancestral dialogue of creative expression that our species has had with the environment dating to antiquity (perhaps even longer if we consider dance and ritual). Our relationship to the Environment has lessened as our “sophistication,” increases and environmental issues become a norm. Perhaps by building a visual bridge of connectivity to the landscape and life around us, I can instill a sense of change in how we treat not only the environment but one another. I’ve directed my approach to further developing a relationship to the Earth and introducing natural materials into my practice. I’m working site-specifically throughout Colorado (Snowmass Village, Loma, Delta, Gypsum, The Great Sand Dunes) using a life cast of my body and pressing/weaving tumbleweeds, elk droppings, clay and soil into the mold which then comprise the human form. Bilaterally, I’m digging graves and either laying in them or positioning them in mining locations. The ritual and performative aspect provides insight to my orient in this life while the outcome serves to inform and connect the bridge of ideas.

Has your residency at Anderson Ranch affected your practice at all? How so?
How so? Certainly. It is not often one can access such personal time and space in their practice along with an incredible organization, staff and colleague/family resident life in such an incredible environment. The location of Anderson Ranch has allowed for site-specific outdoor works/performances. The people have provided incredible support, critical feedback and a true family feel. Plus, Doug Casebeer – has inspired me.

How do you describe your artistic practice?
Since my work is site-specific, I research surrounding locations: the land, soil makeup, terrain, weather patterns, etc. I then have to negotiate navigating a large mold of the figure through rugged or remote locations. This reminds me of the human that I am; time, my capabilities or the lack thereof. My practice naturally leads to ritual and performance as such labors of love come into play. My experiences thus far include a lot of digging, the occasional running from bulls, avoiding frostbite – so on and so forth.

What role does art play in your life?
Art contributes to how I form my identity. It reaffirms human connectivity beyond myself relating to others. As science based logic can sometimes be the only epistemology and when social systems dictate and define individual worth through actions – art jumps the cue expressing humanity, spirituality, identity; both individually and universally. It negates definition and ignites eroded daily phenomena taken for granted.

When do you make art in your studio?
I usually rise early, anywhere between 4 AM to 6 AM as I pursue projects that are dictated by natural light, temperature and location. Actual in-studio time revolves upon the preparation to these projects. On the flip side, the return from these excursions involves processing images and videos, reading and writing.

How do you spend your time when not working in the studio?
I sort of always feel like I’m in the studio as my studio exists outside its defined walls. Alternatively, spending time with my incredible girlfriend is wonderful.

What intrigues you in the art world today?
The market intrigues me; the trends, selection process, etc. I’m even more intrigued however by the amount of artists that exist and how diverse we all are. I’ve been fortunate to have worked, studied and spent time with artists across many different disciplines spanning the globe each beholden to different perspectives, approaches, ideas, and desires to their own practice.

What art do you most identify with?
Site-specific and installation artist whose work has an ephemeral or performative quality.

What is your favorite part about Anderson Ranch?
The community. Also the cafeteria meal gatherings, we have become incredibly close – a big family feel if you will.

How can we find you on social media and the web?


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