Nina Elder’s multimedia exploration “Uplift” opens at Waterfall Arts – MAINE ART SCENE MAGAZINE


(Belfast, ME) ‘Uplift’, a multimedia exploration of the act of lifting by the artist Nina Elder, open to Waterfall arts on December 10 (National Human Rights Day) and will run until January 29, 2022. During his residency at Waterfall Arts in the summer of 2021 (with support from the Onion Foundation), Elder created eight large-scale drawings, which will be exhibited for the exhibition. Her inspiration began when she witnessed the care, collaboration, technology and resources that are used to move yachts from water to land in Belfast Harbor.

Created using marine engine lubricants and industrial pulp waste – materials found or used for other non-recreational purposes in Maine – these drawings summarize what is being raised and are meditations on the types of invisible emotional uplift we all do.

Attention to the technologies of rocking and transporting boats in the harbor subsequently led Nina to create “Overburden”, a video installation which debuts as part of this exhibition. By definition, “overloading” is giving someone too much weight to carry. Additionally, “overburden” refers to the geological material that is removed to expose a desired subterranean mineral.

“Overburden” documents artist Nina Elder’s attempt to care for and physically transport pieces of geological material to her home state of Arizona. She uses hand-sewn devices, accentuating both her strength and softness, to uplift and honor pulverized, leached, melted, discarded and forgotten rocks.

Waterfall Arts Program Director Amy Tingle said: “Nina’s work is a direct response to the extraordinary weight of our world today – so many of us feel overwhelmed, exhausted, almost crippled by the burden of the pandemic and the systemic problems it uncovered. Nina created out of a space of true heartache as she witnessed the destruction of land caused by greed and cruelty, but still managed to ask and attempt to answer the question. : “What if recognition of internal resilience and healthy interdependence became the hallmark of this time challenge?” These questions are crucial: can we help someone else carry a weight that is dragging them down? Can we find beauty in lifting, joy in levitation, can we be in awe of the miracle of understanding that no organism on this entire planet does it alone? “

Artist and researcher Nina Elder creates projects that reveal humanity’s dependence and interruption on the natural world. By emphasizing the evolution of cultures and ecologies, Nina advocates collaboration, fostering relationships between institutions, artists, scientists and diverse communities. Her work takes many forms, including drawings, performative lectures, pedagogy and critical writing, long-term community projects, and public art. Learn more about Nina and her work on

About the stunt arts

Launched in 2000, Waterfall Arts is a community arts center that provides resources for art lovers of all ages and abilities. We invite the public to engage in the arts through classes, exhibitions, art events, performances, public art projects, open studios (in clay, glass, printing and darkroom photography) and Moreover. For more information, please visit or call (207) 338-2222.

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