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Ingrid Lilligren

Lost Genus

Each of the pieces in this group existed previously and met an untimely ceramic end or existed only as sketches. When I began reconstructing and resurrecting them, I was drawn to the idea of ‘finding’ them and having them be part of the family of works I have created. The fact that the word genus is close to the word genius is intentional.

Dee’s Sniffer, 2001. Stoneware, porcelain plugs, 64” x 32” x 16”.

Made in homage to my friend, the artist Dee Marcellus Cole. She is exactly as tall as this piece and her nose comes to the opening in the front. A small pouch with herbs hangs inside. Scent is a strong prompt to memory and is a component I have used in a number of pieces. Her work is playful and incorporates mixed media; she often makes use of children's cowboy boots for the feet on her pieces. Her personality is strong and feminine; she buys many of her clothes at thrift stores and usually wears a skirt. During a recent taping for a TV show, she was asked to drape one of her figures as the generalized forms that represented breasts were deemed potentially inflammatory to viewers, so I had to include ‘breasts’ in this piece.