Episode 55: In Conversation with Lise Silva
Lise (sounds like Lizzie) Silva is a fiber artist and fiber artwear designer and creator. Her knotted work is benevolently opposed to macrame, in that her necklaces are based on one knot rather than a series of knots. Influenced by Chinese, Korean, and sailor knots, a single ornate knot makes the entire design, and through her career she has designed her own sacred knots for these wearable artworks and wallhangings. Lise talks about how she started in illustration and photography- short careers that seemed like dead ends, but are actually accumulated skill sets that still serve her today. Lise also offers guided visualization sessions, and she talks about getting people out of the idea that visualizations are about control and getting exactly what they ask for. She sees the practice as a way to help people align more with the path that they are on. Lise explains her techniques of guiding meditations for individuals and groups; she uses various oracle decks including the Vessel Oracle Deck by Mary Elizabeth Evans. Marlee and Lise talk out the ties (pun intended) between the world of meditation and knot-making. In her book Sacred Knot making, Lise explains how the knots are symbolic; the process can be a meditation; and the resulting necklaces are ceremonial and powerful. Lise also muses on teaching as an artist, and how she teaches basic knots but feels protective about sharing her own designs. She asserts that copying is a great tool for learning as a student, but is not for selling as your own.
Words of wisdom:
“If you just keep working, and meeting people, and staying true to what’s interesting you in the moment, and what feeling honest to you- things will pan out… I honestly feel like, something’s gonna stick if you are making work that feels good to you and you’re also supporting other people’s events, and meeting people… If you want people to support you and go to your show, you have to be out there in the community.”
“Visualization is, you’re taking responsibility for your mind space. That’s huge. So if we want something, but we are allowing all of this stuff that’s counter productive -and actually destructive- to that thing that we want, how could we possibly get that thing that we want, right? And so, when you take responsibility for the thoughts that come into your mind, it can change everything… You are supporting and acknowledging your intentions and desires, and that will put you into a completely different mindspace to do the things you need to do to attain them.”
“If it looks like it came from someone’s workshop, then it’s not really your work… It’s not ready to be your artwork.”
Lise is making new work for her show at Red Poppy Art House, opening on April 31st.
Her more long-term project is taking shape: creating a website spotlighting female fiber artists from the 50s and 60s that really created the genre, and featuring women who are continuing that tradition in contemporary art today.
Follow along with Lise on Instagram @lisesilva
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