Spirit Watcher, collograph by Lillian Pitt, Yakama Nation
Spirit Watcher, 2017, Lillian Pitt, Wasco/Warm Springs/Yakama Nation, collograph, 23" x 15" paper size, edition of 10
Lillian Pitt is an accomplished artist who has been exhibiting her contemporary sculpture, carvings, masks, glass, wearable art, and works on paper for over thirty years. One of the indigenous people of the Columbia River Gorge, she is called by her Indian name, Wak'amu (Strongly Rooted), by elders of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Yakama tribes. The term might also describe her art, for although her approach to form and materials is eclectic and contemporary, her intriguing metaphors are always rooted in her Native American tradition.
She says this about her work: “I use the ancient stories of my ancestors as a basis for the imagery I create. By doing this I maintain the memory of an ancient culture and keep the beliefs of my people alive. We have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature. Accessing this vast reservoir of traditional information and translating it into contemporary terms jogs our memories and provides points of reference to achieving balance within ourselves, our community and the world. My ancestors have a 10,000-year history in the Columbia River Gorge. Much of my work has to do with the preservation and care of the environment along this ancient waterway.”