Bay College Announces Exhibition and Reception for Artist Lisa Siders

Photo Caption: When the Light Shines I'm Overcome
Bay College announces the reception for the exhibition, When the Light Shines I'm Overcome, artwork by Lisa Siders.

Lisa Siders is a multimedia artist working in fiber, video and sculpture.  She received her MFA at the University of Cincinnati in 2005 and studied art at Montana State University. Lisa makes art from her studio on beautiful Whidbey Island, WA and seeks to make meaning out of the inexplicable realities that is life.  Since 2006 she has been a member of several related collaborative groups Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running (with Denise Burge and Jenny Ustick) and Black Forest Project (with Tracy Featherstone, Denise Burge and Jenny Ustick) whose work include animation, sound/music, sculpture and installation.  These groups have exhibited nationally including the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati and internationally including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Belgrade, Serbia and several international film festivals. 

Artist Statement:
How to overcome grief: make a soup seasoned with salt borrowed from a home that has not known loss. 
When the light shines I’m overcome…
This installation consists of individually collected artificial flowers that were given to beloved ones that have died.  Each flower collected was previously put on a loved one’s grave and had blown off, been shredded in lawn equipment or otherwise ruined.  These flower fragments have been carefully washed and pressed, then sewn together to make a new fabric that retains the potent honoring and intention of reaching for the other that has disappeared.  The resulting flower panels have then had salt crystal grown on to them.
The art in this piece is about the journey of grief.  The walking, the tending, rending and washing of these flower fragments, followed by the prayerful, meditative  and tender stitching together of the panels with the intention to connect with those thousands of others who have lost loved ones, is as much the art in this piece, as is the final crystal cloth.
Since the sudden death of my only child six years ago when she was just 13, I have been finding solace in walking cemeteries.  My profound loss left me feeling bereaved and isolated from myself and others.  This walking was a way to put one foot in front of the other when I found it difficult to even get out of bed.  As I walked, I saw flowers occasionally on the road or edges of the cemetery.  The flowers seemed so fragile and bereft.  They had been blown from their former prominence on graves by the indifferent forces of wind, rain, and sometimes suffered the assault of mud and the blades of lawn mowers.  Bereave means to be torn away and I felt moved to restore them to dignity.   
Although we all may have different ideas about what happens to beings after death, we share this love that knows no bounds of this world as we strive in our own way to reach out to those we have lost.  I fill my pockets as I walk and meditate on death, loss, the afterlife, etc. and feel the connection with humanity that all experiences this grief.
Why salt?  Salt is eternal patience as in preserving, salt is healing, salt is a metaphor for transformation when looking back at what we have lost, as in Lot’s wife in the bible who was turned to a pillar of salt when she looks back as they flee their burning town.  Salt also brings in the human body as in tears, sweat and other secretions.
The exhibition of her work can be viewed from January 12th- February 23rd. Reception will be held in the Besse Gallery on Wednesday, January 13th at 2:00 pm. 
Bay College Main,
2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829
906.786.5802 Main Campus Directions