Lissa Hunter & her earth stories

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I was spell bound when i first saw Lissa Hunters work on Robyn's blog artpropelled. I knew I had to feature her here. What looks like many pretty pots arranged in a brilliant composition is actually so much more. "Lissa Hunter's art will never go out of fashion because life never goes out of fashion and she makes art about life--hers and ours.The pure and simple appeal of Hunter's work is what grabs us first. We are seduced up front and the hold is so tight, we are in danger of falling in love and maybe missing the point. The fun begins when you scratch beneath the surface."--Susan Viebrock, Telluride Daily Planet

Do read the story beneath each piece.

"Everyone else knew as a child what he or she was going to be, but not Gloria. She floated through childhood, coasted through puberty, wandered through young adulthood. It was not until she realized that no one was going to take her to Paris or buy her a house or write the story that was inside her that she decided to take charge. The world would never be the same." Lissa Hunter

"You see it in every large group of adolescents. Boys with boys, girls with girls. Cute girls with cute girls. Nerds with nerds. Jocks with jocks. You see it in geopolitics. Sunni with Sunni. Shiite with Shiite. Tutsi with Tutsi. It's hard to believe sometimes that we're all just birds." Lissa Hunter

No one had to say it, the line that comes before. No one had to say, "My, but she's unattractive" or "She sure is ugly." Jane understood as soon as the stinging words were said, "But she's beautiful on the inside." It's unfortunate, really. Being beautiful on the inside is quite a wonderful thing and it lasts a lot longer than beautiful on the outside.
Split Personality (Henry and Edward), 28" h x 19" w x 4" d, 2007
She's the one who bakes the granola cookies and wears patchouli oil. At least, that's who she was in the 60s. Now Sunshine dotes on her grandchildren, drinks cappuccinos and wears only black. Every age has its version of the Earth Mother. We can go all the way back to 20,000 B.C. to the Venus of Willendorf, a Neolithic carved stone goddess who assured fertility and plenty. A combination of generosity of spirit and unabashed quirkiness is always in fashion.
Lissa Hunter, Control Freak (Adrian), 27" h x 34" w x 2.75" d, 2007
Adrian couldn't be in the room for two minutes without having straightened the picture frames, leveled the table with a meticulously folded piece of paper precisely the correct size so as not to stick out from under the leg, plumped the pillows, picked the cat hair off the rocking chair cushion and arranged the magazines in a fan-shaped array. Some people said he should see a therapist, but he just wanted things to be in order. He needed things to be in order.

"Blank slate. Nobody home. I mean, like, have you ever really thought about it? I'm, like, so into thinking about this stuff. There's, like, you know, a blank page and, well, like, an empty plate and there's nothing there. You think maybe there's something there and there, like, should be something there but, now this is the cool part, there's nothing there. Awesome." Lissa Hunter

"My friend, Priscilla, is nearly 90 years old. She loves her things. In the course of her life, they have endured moving, four children, pets, fires, floods and everyday wear and tear. But they endure. Mostly, they endure because Priscilla repairs them, or refinishes them, or patches them. They may no longer be functional but they reflect the care and attention of someone who loves her things, values thrift and continues to struggle against decline." Lissa Hunter
Lissa Hunter, Nancy's Choice, 26" w x 18.5" h x 5" d, 2006

Facing the possible need to evacuate her home at a moment's notice, Nancy went into her studio to choose her "best pot" to take with her. "And as I looked around, I was surprised that there was nothing that I felt I could live without. It was an interesting discovery and I remember thinking to myself...Oh, I'm not there yet."Objects can be markers in a process, a process of making pots, in this case. Each one is an indicator of a level of skill and a set of circumstances. Each one is different. "That's the first one I made. That's the one I made after I recovered from cancer. That's the one that my husband likes so much." How could she choose which one is the best? Lissa Hunter

Lissa Hunter, La Petite Famille 4"x4.5"x1", 2008
Lissa Hunter, He Hung the Moon (Vincent), 32" h x 21" w x 2" d, 2007
"I can only think of fathers when I hear this phrase, the blind admiration a child has for her father that allows for magic and the suspension of physical reality that would allow him to, yes, hang the moon in the sky." Lissa Hunter

Lissa Hunter, Free Spirit (Isadora), 11" h x 38" w x 2.5" d, 2007
They were all just a little envious of Isadora. She never seemed to feel constrained with the ties that society fashioned for the rest of them. Of course, having wings didn't hurt. -Lissa Hunter

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