Marguerite Gilbertson

Marguerite Gilbertson, Braided Performance, Photograph of performance

About the Artist

Marguerite Gilbertson is an interdisciplinary sculpture and performance artist living and working in eastern Alabama.

Her work explores concepts around identity, agriculture, and deconstructing patriarchal systems and symbols. Through experiences growing up on a farm and as a working sculpture artist, she shares her experience as a woman and questions why we continue to gender materials, tools, and even roles as a society.

She holds a BFA from the University of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in Sculpture and an MFA from Washington State University. Her technical proficiency ranges from working with more traditional materials such as clay, plaster, metal, and wood to more contemporary technology using CNC milling machines and 3D printers. Marguerite currently is the Lecturer of Sculpture and Spatial Studies at Auburn University at Montgomery.


Artist Statement

My work is rooted in my experiences growing up on a cash crop farm in rural Wisconsin and about family. I was raised around a group of gregarious, passionate, and eccentric women. My adventures with my mother and these individuals sparked within me the confidence that women could forge their own path despite patriarchal systems working against us.

Agriculture has traditionally always had male-dominated hierarchies of power. This balance of power left many women, such as my mother, with the role of a housewife. It also meant I was left out of the narrative for the future of my family’s farm for merely being female. The loss I felt from this realization pushed me to make work and performances about this power dynamic. As a sculpture artist, I also found myself challenging perceptions and expectations surrounding specific tools and techniques as well as the underlying roles of power that remain in this career. By taking objects that are stereotypically associated with being masculine and manipulating them into a more feminine symbol deconstructed these stereotypes of what is considered male or female.

My work is an ongoing exploration of myself and my experiences as a woman. It reflects my memories, my parents, and of that beautiful group of women who believed that I could be more than what was expected of me.