Indian Spotted Deer.

Anja Marais


Anja Marais is working at the interstices of categories, where photography merges with sculpture and/or sculpture with installation. Exploring niches that feel both traditional and contemporary. Born and raised in South Africa, her work explores themes of displacement, cultural heritage, and colonial scarring. 

She obtained her BFA(HONS) in 1998 at the University of South Africa. She received the Harpo Foundation Grant Award (2020), The Ellies Creator Award (2020), and the Orlando Contemporary Art Prize finalist (2019). 

Her installations were on display at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, NC (2021) and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC (2019-20). Recently the subject of solo exhibitions at Bridge Red, Miami (2018), University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2016), and University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (2015). In recent years her group exhibitions have included the Museum of History of St Petersburg, Poterna Hall, Russia; the Museum of Contemporary Art Miami; the IMAS Museum, TX; the University of the Arts, Philadelphia; the MDC Museum of Art + Design, Miami, FL; the Baker Museum of Naples, FL and Doral Museum of Contemporary Art, FL. 

She took part in national art residencies Wurlitzer, NM (2020), Santa Fe Art Institute, NM (2018), Ucross, WY (2017), The Millay Art Colony, NY (2017), Santa Fe Art Institute, NM (2019), Sedona Art Colony, AZ (2016), and the Vermont Studio Art Residency, VT (2015). She also attended international residencies in Japan (2009), Korea (2010), Russia (2013), and Finland (2014).

She currently lives and works in the high desert of New Mexico. 

Anja Marais is a forager. She saunters through the world collecting stories, earth-talks, and myths. Gathered from frayed memories and faded auditories. She seeks objects left behind and forgotten with a leitmotiv of history. 

Marais explores exposed objects, systems, and ideas after disintegration.

She brings these weathered objects and subjects together as hybrids in her studio to be reinvented into sculptures, installations, video work, photography, and poetry. This process revives, transforms, and reinterpret, leading to a new understanding of cultural phenomena of false supremacies and fragmented heritages. She calls this process the 'Beginning of the End to a Re-beginning'.

She has a zero-waste studio practice where she works with cyclical earthy materials like clay, lime, stone, maize, and found objects. Uninterested in the boundary between the human and the nonhuman world her work states that all things–inanimate and animate–contain metamorphoses of personhood. It is impossible not to hear the world in its objects.


1998: B.F.A(hons) University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

1992 -1993: Sculpture. University of Pretoria, Visual Arts, Pretoria, South Africa


2011-2012: Studio Assistant / project based, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Miami, FL, USA

1985-1991: Studio Apprentice to Sculptor / Painter, Willem Nezar, Modimolle, Limpopo, RSA.


2021 Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Residency, Taos, NM, USA.

2018 Truth and Reconciliation Residency, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM, USA.

2017 Millay Art Colony Residency, NY, USA.

2017 Ucross Art Residency, WY, USA.

2016 Sedona Summer Art Colony, Sedona, AZ, USA.

2015 Vermont Studio Art Residency, Johnson, VT, USA.

2014 Arteles Art Residency, FINLAND.

2013 NCCA Art Residency Kronstadt, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. RUSSIA.

2010 Seoul Art Space Geumcheon Residency, Seoul, SOUTH KOREA.

2009 Mino Paper Art Residency, Mino, JAPAN.


2020 The Harpo Foundation Grant

2020 The Ellies Creator Award, Oolite Arts, Miami, FL

2019 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art Finalist, Orlando Museum of Art, FL

2018 Locust Projects Studio Visits and Lecture Selection with Curator Nato Thompson.

2014 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship

2013 Anne McKee Artist Grant, Key West, FL

2012 Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, Best Short Optic Nerve 14

2012 Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, Audience Award Optic Nerve 14

2010 Enrique Martinez Celaya Summer Workshop/Anderson Ranch Art Center Affiliated, Miami, FL

2010 Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop, FL Division of Cultural Affairs, FL

2010 Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Fellowship

2010 Anne McKee Artist Grant, Key West, FL

2009 Best by land choice award, Sculpture Key West curated by Shamim Momin, FL,

2009 Sculpture Key West Exhibition Artist funding Grant


2019 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL

2019 The XIV Miami New Media, Doral Contemporary Art Museum & Laundromat Art Space, Miami, FL

2017 SFCC Fellowship Exhibition. The Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, FL

2018 FOLD curated by Raheleh Filsoofi. IMAS Museum, McAllen, TX

2016 Intersectionality, curated by Richard Hayden. The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, FL

2014 Florida Contemporary. Baker Museum of Naples, Naples, FL

2014 Кронштадтские истории. Museum of History St Petersburg. Peter & Paul fortress, Poterna Hall, Russia

2014 Cortaditos. MDC Museum of Art + Design, Miami, FL

2012 Optic Nerve 14, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL

2009 Paper. Washi Museum, Mino City, Japan


2018 The Mountain Without a Shadow, Bridge Red Project Space, Miami, FL

2017 Stages of the Denizen. The University of the Arts. Sculpture Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2017 The Berth. Mariani Gallery, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

2015 The Ballast. The Firehouse Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

2013 The Guide. Atlantic Art Center, New Smyrna Beach, FL

2011 Conversations of Kami. The Studios of Key West, FL

2010 Tenterhook. with Karley Klopfenstein. Boyden Gallery, St. Mary, MD

2010 Flow of Thoughts. PS 333 Gallery, Geumcheon Art Space, Seoul, Korea


2021 Inter|Sectionality. Art from the Creole City. The Moore Building, Miami, FL.

2020 Inter|Sectionality. Art from the Creole City. Harvey B Gantt Center, Charlotte, NC.

2019 Inter|Sectionality. Art from the Creole City. The Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC.

2019 Truth & Reconciliation exhibition, Santa Fe, NM

2019 RCS: 51-75 Exhibit, Spinello Projects and The Annex, Miami, FL,

2018 From Underfoot: Breaking Through Surface And Ground’, Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX

2018 ‘Eros Effect’, Curated by Jane Hart. Bridge Red Project Space, Miami, FL

2018 ‘Mis.placed’ curated by Janet Batet, Collective62, Miami, FL

2017 ‘Frontier’. Bailey Contemporary Art, Pompano Beach, FL

2017 ‘Cinema of Dreams’ curated by Elena Kubanova. Ground Moscow Gallery, St Petersburg, Russia

2016 ‘Intersections’ curated by Kim Yantis. The Deering Estate, Miami, FL

2015 ‘Attitudes in Latitudes’ curated by Ombretta Agro. Art Center South Florida, Miami, FL

2014 Film Festival Art Artagena, Hotel Boveda de Santa Clara, Bolivar, Colombia

2014 Film Festival - Science Fiction + Fantasy Shorts, EMP Museum at Seattle Center

2014 Film Festival - Zinegoak XI, Bilbao International LGTB Film and Performing Arts Festival, Spain.

2013 Mezipatra queer film festival, Prague & Brno, Czech Republic.

2013 ‘Как-жить’ NCCA Residents Exhibition, Kronstadt, Russia

2013 ‘Shift’ at Cannes Film festival - Short Corner, Cannes, France

2013 Extra Film Shorts’. Curated by Adela Holmes. Kunstblitz Gallery, Berlin

2012 ‘Outside the Box’. Whitespace, Mordes Collection, West Palm Beach, FL

2010 ‘Fragmentary Memory’, Artformz Gallery, Miami, FL

2009 ‘Trio’, Artformz Gallery, Miami, FL

2008 ‘Sculpture Key West’, curated by Shamim Momin, Key West, FL

2007 ‘Sculpture Key West’, curated by Mary Ceruti, Key West, FL


Museum Collections:

Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Florida

NCCA Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, St Petersburg, Russia

Seoul Art Space, Seoul, S Korea

Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL

Akari Museum, Mino City, Japan

Private Collections:

Peter Berg, Barry B Briskin, Jean Carper, Victoria Lesser, Mr and Mrs Watanabe.

Colonial Figurine Collection: A series of tongue-in-the-cheek sculptures that is a play on Victorian Porcelain figurine collectables. These figurines were very popular during the rule of the British Empire over its colonies. Many a homemaker collected and display these figurines in glass China cabinet in different colonies. Marais did not make this figurine out of porcelain but out of yellow or blue ground corn. The yellow maize is Aunt Jemima Corn meal and blue maize is Masa Brosa de Maiz Azul. She uses corn as a symbol for colonialism. Corn is indigenous to South America and was brought to Europe by Columbus. From here the European Schooners introduced them to new colonies in Africa, Australia, Asia, etc. where corn has even become a staple in some. This series is a comment on the adverse long-term affect of colonialism on the land, the vegetal, and humanity.

Year: 2021


Found objects, Aunt Jemima Corn meal, hardened clay.

10.5" x 6.25" x 5"

Free shipping within Continental US. There are no refunds. If the work arrives damaged or not as advertised the collector will be offered the option to exchange for a work of equal value or store credit for the full amount.