LILLIAN PITT | INTRODUCTION
THE LEAD CRYSTAL GLASS used for this collection of Shadow Spirits comes from New Zealand and is quite a labor intensive effort to create. An original clay figure is created by the artist. A rubber mold is made of the figure and wax poured in. From this wax mold several investment molds are made prior to a final mold is made ready for the kiln. Into the cavity of the final mold cold glass is loaded. After firing, the mold is broken open, the glass figure emerges and is sanded and polished. A unique base, made from steel, wood and burl is then fitted to the figure.
Lillian Pitt draws her inspiration from her heritage as a member of the Warm Springs Yakama who lived along the Columbia River in Oregon for thousands of years. Her work reflects the ancient as well as the ongoing presence of the native American people whose legends and stories of the Yakama are transformed into beautiful images, both elegant and primal.
The Shadow Spirit series of glass sculpture are a special attempt to provide visual images of lost ancestral forms depicting harmony with nature and the surrounding world. These images are rarely seen if you are not paying attention according to stories of the Yakama.
Over the past 25 years, Images of the North has presented the beautiful and powerful work of Lillian Pitt. Using non-traditional materials, her Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama heritage infuses her art, preserving the stories and myths of the Yakama people.
Mostly self-taught, Lillian began her career using clay; molding and building exciting and colorful “Stick Indian” raku and anagama fired masks as well as her elegant and moving “Shadow Spirits”. The Stick Indian masks represent spirits of the woods and forests. Iconic rock paintings in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon were her inspiration as she developed her style and imagery.
An extraordinary new personal perspective of her culture began to emerge. Collectors interested in masks and sculpture were intrigued by Lillian's style. These pieces were so exciting, colorful and different from what was being created at the time that her career took off. Not only were collectors impressed, the native community appreciated and understood what she was trying to convey about her heritage. Her works were sought after for public art displays and began to be included in museum collections.
Experimenting in many artistic disciplines over the years including dry point prints, silver jewelry and bronze castings, Lillian is now turning her prodigious talent to glass. This collection is perhaps one of her most provocative to date. The minimalist construction and jewel like colors of the glass create a vibrancy that is most compelling. Her specially designed metal display stands are works of art in themselves.
Lillian has become very well known for her award winning designs. She is a recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts in Oregon and is featured in the Heard Museum, the Burke Museum, Washington State Historical Museum and in numerous public and private collections worldwide.
Images of the North is honored and proud to have had the opportunity to offer this extraordinary artist a venue in San Francisco and will continue to present her work for years to come.