A sense of play is central to my art – both in the creative process and in the pieces themselves. I love beautiful, old quirky things, and delight in combining various flea market finds and salvaged items in my work. Ideas about sacredness, and the interchange of male and female energy also are recurring themes, all of which raise interesting questions: How does yin and yang energy affect our experience? What do we hold sacred in our lives? What happens we when we play? And who are we when we don’t?
The passage of time also naturally becomes a theme as well, since many of the objects I use are old or discarded. Common household objects from even a generation or two ago can connect us to our collective past, and the inevitable marks of wear only add to their potency. The same is true of course for natural elements – there is an inherent power in wood or stone, bone and shell.
Using discarded materials as the foundation of my work offers a way into these ideas for me. From this palette of cast-offs, an artistic vocabulary has taken shape over the years, and I get to play around with the materials and the ideas they generate. Creating artwork from these disparate pieces of our shared history brings me joy and a sense of connection. With art as the starting point, I’m hoping to engage in honest and nuanced conversations with others – finding common ground and learning along the way.
Anne Spence is an award-winning New Jersey artist with childhood roots in Chicago and Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and East Asian Studies from Wittenberg University in Ohio, class of 1988, and subsequently studied filmmaking at Columbia College, Chicago, from 1991 to 1993. An artist working in constructed sculpture – which she describes as making things from things – she was selected for membership to the National Association of Women Artists in 2009 and selected for signature membership to the National Collage Society in 2012. Her work has been exhibited nationally in numerous venues since the 1990’s, including the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in New York, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marin County, California among others. Anne Spence lives and works in Milford, New Jersey