Marilyn Lysohir, figurative ceramics with attitude
Studio: Moscow, Idaho
My work is inspired by my family and my friends. When I begin a piece I start with a personal idea — such as the death of my grandmother or my father surviving World War II, and then this idea evolves into a formal composition which usually takes me a long time to work out.
I enjoy working with large scale installations which often take more than one year to make. The largest has been “The Dark Side of Dazzle” which has a 24’ long, two ton ceramic battleship and a life-sized bathroom and figure in it. This piece was inspired by my father and by friends who fought and survived in different wars.
Another recent installation, “The Tattooed Ladies and the Dinosaurs” was started in 1993. This installations will have over 600 hand made ceramic dinosaur bones, 100 hand painted glazed tiles (12” x 12”), as well as references to tattooed figures. The tiles are studies of birds and will be installed on a wall as a backdrop for the work.
I have just completed a large piece called “High School Portraits, 1968… Good Girls, Sharon Pennsylvania.” It consists of 163 portrait busts of the girls with whom I graduated from High School. The installation also involved hours on the phone as I contacted women I hadn’t spoken to in some 39 years. I was able to get over 30 personal up-dates from these women and these are included in the piece. Four of the women attended the opening at the WSU Museum of Art. For the viewers it was a splendid opportunity to share the connections between the high school girls and the grown women.
For me as an artist, any piece is about self-recognition and communication and memory. It’s about taking responsibility for our actions and surviving with dignity the journey upon which all humans embark…from birth to death.