Whilst silk organza is not the only material Lisa works with it is clearly a medium she has explored extensively as her website shows many samples of art works using this to create immense forms.
Describing her pieces as three-dimensional paintings in space Lisa cuts, forms, paints and sews together thousands of organza shapes resulting in these wonderful sculptures. Because the original moulding objects are removed, light and shadow are able to filter through and various degrees of translucency are achieved.
The organza is not dyed, instead pigment, ink, acrylic, bleach and compost are applied until the intended painterly effect is reached. At the conclusion of each exhibition the materials are brought back to a raw state and they are later incorporated into the next project. No body of work remains, the only record being photographs. Perhaps a lesson to us all in recycling, minimising the environmental effects of our practise and in being a little less precious about our art works.
The artist statement for Cameroon Croon (2009), shown in this next photograph, reads:
This installation juxtaposes food shortages and death in Cameroon with consumerism in the United States.
It uses 24 reclaimed mannequin hands, paint, resin and 50lbs of grain. This piece grabs my attention in large part because of the camera work. With the multitude of shadow layers the art work becomes more complex and dimensional. The reflected hands give the impression of many more Cameroons standing behind in line for food handouts juxtaposed against many more American citizens with their hands out consuming everything they can. (Please note: opinions and impressions expressed are 100% my own and are not meant to offend. They are purely my interpretation).
What a marvellous way to enhance negative space. There are several pin works on Lisa’s website and some with better visual shadows which I perhaps should have used instead of this piece, but I chose this as it demonstrates my current theme of Reveal and Conceal in a totally different manner to the other works above. Here there is not only the shadow play at work, created by the pin heads raised from the background, but also the very idea of drawing attention to the framework and leaving what would normally be the focal interest sections blank (i.e. where the portraits would sit) I find intriguing. Another take on revealing and concealing.
Lisa Kellner lives and works in rural Virginia and Brooklyn, New York.
Images and some text used with permission from the artist.