What inspires you?
I find much of my inspiration in nature. For me, taking a hike in the woods, and immersing myself in the sights and sounds of nature, provides a peace and clarity that allows my creative energy to freely flow. I am endlessly inspired by the forms and textures that nature creates, and also by the incredible complexity and order of dynamic systems that have arisen through evolution.
The human form and the perplexing actions and emotions of people are also a huge source of inspiration. I am interested in exploring what it means to be human: What are those universal feelings, ideas, and struggles that unite all of us?
What is your medium of choice?
My two favorite materials to work with now are stone and metal. They are both essential elements in the structures of societies that have emerged and flourished in our world. I love the solidity and density of stone and the way that it becomes smooth and almost soft when polished. I am also attracted to the rusty, sharp, and twisted scrap metal that can be found in scrapyards and old industrial sites. The strength and flexibility of metal allows me to create airy forms and work with line in a way that is not possible with stone, clay, or wood.
What is the most important theme that your work revolves around?
There is an underlying tension in most of my work. Sometimes it is quite obvious, and at other times it can be found many levels of interpretation down. It is this sense that nothing is black and white, that everything is a balance between opposing forces and that neither can be completely in control or exist without its counterpart. There is no death without life; what grows must eventually decay. Human beings are both minds and bodies, and these two forces are opposing yet also able to function in a beautiful symbiosis that creates something more wonderful than the sum of its parts.
How do you spend your time when not working in the studio?
Much of my non-studio time is spent on my other passion, rock climbing. I love trying new things and visiting new places, and climbing has been an amazing outlet for this sense of adventure. It has taken me to extraordinarily beautiful places and always pushes me to be honest with myself about my knowledge, skills, and limitations. Climbing is simultaneously humbling and freeing, and is one of the greatest challenges of both mind and body that I have encountered.
How can we find you on social media and the web?
My website is joshrudersculpture.weebly.com. There, one can find images of my work and some information about my artistic journey and inspirations. My Instagram handle is @joshua.ruder.
Great sculptures, Josh Ruder. Each with a personality all its own.
We are looking forward to seeing your work in person this evening!
I love your work Josh!! I’m so happy you are a resident artist here at the Manoog Family Artist Residency Program.