Kristen Anderson is a visual fiber artist, creating wool felt works using traditional wet-felting technique.
Her work focuses on themes of environmental science and human connection to the natural world.
Kristen works in her Bigfork, MN studio, located in the Chippewa National Forest and teaches felting as an artist-in-residence in area schools.
Ecologically-minded Fiber Artist
My curiosity with the natural world unfolds into imagery that becomes designs in felted wool. The fibers of the wool mimic many of the subjects I explore in my study—from tiny root hairs to the strong layers of earth or bark. I am interested in how felt can tell these stories in a unique way.
Through many years of experiencing and witnessing phenological changes as the seasons cycle and plants and animals adapt, certain elements have surfaced to uniquely intertwine with my own life. As they emerge in their own time, I feel their presence, look forward to their return, and connect. These kinships have become an important part of my own spirit and identity. Restorative Loops is a tribute to these relationships, which are feeding me in body and spirit. In turn, I find myself acting with reciprocity toward them; keeping watch over their habitats, voting like their existence depends upon it, often making choices in daily life mindful of their health.
As I worked on this series, there was an unexpected visitor to the circle who completed each piece. The visitor was a personal experience that entered each piece to connect the human to the natural world, often metaphorically. It was the racial unrest as I worked on the piece that dealt with storm disturbance as a necessity in ecosystem health.
In another piece, the news that a friend’s dear friend was dying and she needed to blast his favorite song and paint her walls yellow to honor the joy he brought to her life, gave me inspiration, I used yellow to portray the joy felt in the time when dragonflies finally emerge to bring our bodies and spirits relief from those dreaded biting insects.
These personal experiences crept in to connect the circle and they are my gift back to the natural elements I hope to honor.