About Lisa Lillibridge/Dakota 1966

I’m a writer/photographer/artist raised in South Dakota and living in Burlington, Vermont. I understand now as I age that “making" in any form has always been a form of meditation to me. My creative energy is now directed to storytelling with writing and images, mostly about understanding my prairie roots and how they've impacted my choices. Please e-mail (lllillibridge@gmail.com) if you're interested in discussing your interior geography or process. I'm always interested in hearing stories of what gives folks their spark.

mostly unseen work…

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. —Coco Chanel

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
―Stella Adler

You can’t use up creativity.

The more you use, the more you have. —Maya Angelou

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
―Henry David Thoreau

fetch the bolt cutters,

I’ve been in here too long

—Fiona Apple

________________________________________

  • cardboard layers missing South Dakota
  • fashion magazine paintings
  • your voice counts-Harvard Review I believe
  • Oakledge Park early morning with a friend after snow
  • I recreated this poster for Jeff’s Christmas gift. He was at this show on his birthday, 1981 I believe. I couldn’t find an original.
  • winter light with lights, the field behind my childhood home
  • fetch the bolt cutters, a Fiona Apple song I love-applicable for COVID life

COMMON GROUND…

Last spring, out of the blue I received an email from an interfaith organization, The Council of Christians and Jews in the United Kingdom asking if they could use an image of mine from a blog post for their spring magazine cover.

Here’s the link to the post: are we frayed beyond repair?

This sort of request was new for me. I was flattered by the inquiry and proud of the images. I researched the organization to be certain I wanted to allow my permission…then I was truly humbled and honored.

The Council of Christians and Jews:

“We were founded in 1942, at the height of the Second World War and the Holocaust, by Archbishop William Temple and Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz. We are proud that Her Majesty the Queen has been our patron since 1952.

…and dedicated our work to raising awareness about the persecution and destruction of the Jews of Europe.”

https://ccj.org.uk/

LINK to full Spring 2020 issue: https://ccj.org.uk/sites/ccj.hocext.co.uk/files/2020-06/Common%20Ground%202020.pdf

Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater…. when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power.

Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.

https://www.justsecurity.org/72339/qanon-is-a-nazi-cult-rebranded/

Here’s to better days ahead…

Democracy’s courage…

Yesterday morning I wondered what would happen if every time I was told something negative about my choices, behaviors, or words I reflexively answered, THAT’S FAKE NEWS or ALL A HOAX. Even if there were videos, tweets, or recorded phone calls of what I said, I continued to falsely proclaim these are lies fabricated to damage me personally. No accountability ever required.

I have a hunch if I behaved that way my marriage would be over. My children wouldn’t bother talking to me anymore. My friends would distance themselves and likely drop off entirely. My community involvement would be quite unwelcome.

My husband and children might schedule a full psychological evaluation and begin an investigation into the hopeful possibility that an underlying health concern may be at the root of it all…or coronavirus perhaps?

Next, I imagined what if I told people that only my blog and the words of a few people I’ve deemed credible tell the REAL TRUTH and no other source can ever be trusted? I would repeat this often and never let my followers forget.

Unable to sleep, I slipped out of bed in predawn America trying to understand the emotions I felt while watching yesterday’s events unfold in Washington DC, our nation’s capital, and also the city where my daughter attends college. I have to admit, I was and am currently all over the place.

FEAR. SHAME. SORROW. RELIEF. EMBARRASSMENT. FRUSTRATION. GRATITUDE. ANGER. RESOLVE. PRIDE. GRIEF. LOVE?

While I edited yesterday’s post, I suddenly started thinking about Democracy as a woman who finally summoned her courage and decided enough is enough.

She chose to honor her beloved constitution after years of suffering. Democracy began the long process of leaving her abusive relationship by finally asking her parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and friends in Congress, The Press, and Law Enforcement for help to get her to a place she feels safe and valued once again.

My hope for Democracy and anyone else suffering to come out of the fog (fear, obligation & guilt) of abuse and begin the much-needed healing process.

Examples of Emotional Abuse

Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others.

Belittling – Condescending and Patronizing – This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.

Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.

Blaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.

Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

SOURCE: https://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/emotional-abuse

matter is neither…

created nor destroyed…the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant. —Law of Conservation of Mass, discovered by Antoine Lavoisier in 1785

matter: the formless substratum of all things which exists only potentially and upon which form acts to produce realities —Merriam Webster

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of matter and how I spend my time, resources, and energy. I’m not a first responder, teacher, food producer, or any of the many admirable front line workers that kept us going during this remarkably challenging COVID19 year.

I’m an artist and making things and thinking about making things takes up a lot of my time…most actually. I think in potential constantly to produce other realities.

So, does making art in my basement studio matter in any way right now?

I just don’t know.

Here’s what I do know. I was unsettled the other day. I cleaned my studio. There was a lot of cardboard. I rescued it from the recycling. I created the work below. I felt much more settled.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

—Chinese proverb

movie posters revisited…

“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”
― Roger Ebert

I woke up thinking about recreating movie posters. I didn’t want to have to shoot any difficult images to make them work. I’m sure these won’t be the last.

Happy Sunday, wherever your day takes you.

🎥

chapter II—desolation

I recently picked up my great-great-uncle, Will Lillibridge’s book, Ben Blair and landed on a few passages that seemed to fit what i was pondering in the moment.

“Ten miles out on the prairies,—not lands plane as a table, as they are usually pictured, but rolling like the sea with waves of tremendous amplitude—stood a rough shack, called by courtesy a house.”

—Will Lillibridge—Ben Blair—Chapter II Desolation

Usually in January I make an annual pilgrimage to my hometown of Burke, South Dakota. This year, because of COVID19, I won’t be traveling. So, on this Winter Solstice 2020, I’m reflecting on the prairie, my ancestors and revisiting my photographs.

I’ve always assumed that my love of stark landscapes was simply due to where I grew up. However, as I age I’m increasingly aware that it’s far more complex than that alone. I’m drawn to spaciousness in any form. In paintings, film, photographs, literature it’s what’s NOT there that I love and am so drawn to. Oh, and when there’s a well-placed pause in a song—damn, I swoon.

There’s a duality of growing up in rural America that I understand now at fifty-four and having lived out east for thirty years. There’s on one hand, a fiercely independent streak born out of generations of hardscrabble pioneer and homestead life, but there’s also what’s in the negative space everywhere that I’m more curious about lately.

For that pioneer spirit to survive on such isolated terrain, there’s often a high need for conformity. To me there can be a false sense of security that comes from conformity. When we conform too much, we might be leaving some of the best parts of ourselves hidden in the negative space.

INDEPENDENCE + CONFORMITY = ?

While being around the like-minded often puts folks at ease, the opposite can be quite true as well. When people are different, or deemed outsiders, it might be natural to fear that they might upset the social order in some way. Is this really true,or does it just FEEL true?

The psychology of geography, interesting enough in the year of a world-wide pandemic, is rooted in outsiders potentially bringing disease to a region. Of course illness was greatly feared when folks were trying to populate a new territory…all lives certainly mattered back then just as they do now.

To honor that fierce independence it seems to me that different skills, ideas, and perspectives should be exceptionally valued, hell, even celebrated—now more than ever regardless of one’s geography.

We really need all types of thinkers and doers to face the world’s many challenges. Perhaps this first day of winter is well-timed for some quiet contemplation on what seems likely to be an isolated, and potentially sorrow-filled season before the light returns.

“To-night, for the first time, and with a wonder we all feel when the obvious but long unseen suddenly becomes apparent, the primary fact of human brotherhood, irrespective of caste, came home to him.”

—Will Lillibridge—Ben Blair, Chapter XXII Two Friends Have it Out

a mug shot collaboration…

This morning my coffee-fueled internet meanderings landed me a famous mugshots site. They’re quite remarkable, raw, and they all seem to just dare you to learn more about the arrests. I’m a true crime junkie.

https://www.history101.com/30-famous-mugshots-youve-never-seen-before/

David Bowie was arrested in Rochester, NY for marijuana possession on March 21st, 1976. He was held for three hours and released on bail. He pleaded guilty and the grand jury later decided to pass on his case. Even his mugshot is classy, of course.

With some regret, I’ve never been arrested. So, with the help of my daughter, Willa Govoni’s photography and highly intuitive stylist skills I now have my very own menopausal mugshots. Perhaps a protest arrest is in my future? #2021goals #resist #goodtrouble

I thought about my characteristics that feel like crimes sometimes. They came to mind quite quickly…judgment, regret, and procrastination.

Willa, you’ve got a good eye kid. Let’s do lunch and discuss more projects.

Thank you.

‘scuse me while I kiss the sky…

Happy Thanksgiving from my neighborhood to yours!

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

—Jimi Hendrix

Follow my blog and you’ll only be emailed when i post…once or twice a week.

Please share this post if you feel so inclined.

Be well. Stay safe.

autumn dreams…

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

navigating uncertainty…

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”

―Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet