Justine Kerr is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Dundee University, specializing in sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. In 1994, she spent two semesters at NSCAD, on an exchange programme, which made a profound impact on the young artist's life. There she met her future husband & carved Italian marble, which was an utopic experience, where she found her true calling as a stone carver. Justine completed her degree in 1998 with two children in tow & a move back to Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Nova Scotia Art Bank purchased her art work for their collection in the Spring of 2006& 2008 & the Nova Scotia Arts Council gave Justine an art creation grant in the summer of 2006.
I am compelled to make art as I transcend to a place of contentment & peace. I love the thought provoking meditative intensity of carving, yet I find the necessary balance by working in two dimensions, primarily felted pictures & mixed media drawings.
The primal process of stone carving forces me to slow down & connects me to Source. This allows me to explore a deeper part of myself, where the sacredness of my Divine feminine resurfaces conjuring intimate images of Mother, Mother & child motif & anthropomorphic forms.
At times I am distracted by the banality of day to day life, but through the sacredness of the process of stone carving, I realize the honesty which is demanded by the stone. Self-discipline is created by the act of carving . There is a safety & trust in this holy practice & therefore, harmony grows within.
I use a mallet & chisels for hand carving, enjoying the simplicity of the meditative sounds where steel meets stone. I also work with rasps & rifflers for smoothing out roughly chiseled forms & electric cutting tools are used for taking away larger chunks of stone. Finally, diamond-bit polishing pads with water are used to create a lustre in the stone.
I am interested in the natural beauty of my environment which has been heightened by living rurally. I find inspiration in the gentle beauty and luminosity of the landscape where the human body melds with the land expressing infinity where inter-relatedness is evident.
I am interested in the dichotomies within myself...exploring these visually in my work; the contrast of textures within stone evokes a warming in my heart……polished stone, the blazing beauty of the intricacies of hidden colours interfaced with contrasting rough markings made by my tools. This is conveyed well in my stone carvings, "Imminent" & "Inextricably Bound".
I am influenced deeply by the Mother role which has enveloped me for a number of years, hence I have examined the polarizing emotions which stem from that perspective. I delight in the female form & was particularly inspired by my own pregnant body which evoked great & abundant symbolism. Further, I have come to realize, through the exploration of stone carving, the yearnings of my own inner child for my attention and consequent healing. This is evident in the stone carving, "Child Within".
I also have a desire to create more authentically , exploring more deeply my interest in Shamanism which includes witnessing the characteristics and behavior of some animals and how they can further our awareness of ourselves and others. Mostly, what I desires to accomplish as an artist and human being is to fully release my ego and allow the creative flow to move through me wholeheartedly.