This is a short blog on an artist my fiance stumbled upon totally by accident when looking up some information about an actress of the same name!
Please note I do not as yet have the artists written permission, although it is applied for, to use copies of her images so they can be seen on her website which is: http://www.lisarenner.com/
Lisa Renner is a mixed media artist who often uses polymer clay in her sculptures or jewelry and specialism appears to be in figurative work – this work however demonstrated what she herself describes on her website as her “attraction to peculiar or abstract forms with stoic facial expressions”.
I have been studying in Parts 1 and 2 of this course Identity and labels with emphasis on some collage work based on my own self portrait and Lisa’s work almost perfectly ties in with these studies – the faces of her sculptures and other work for me speak of a fascination with identity but with the aforesaid abstract forms.
I am drawn to the almost ‘cutesy’ or even ‘quaint’ nature of these figures – the large eyes with their eye shadow detail, the various elaborate head dresses, the rouge on the cheeks and rosebud lips which are seen on many. However these brighter images contrast with some of the darker, almost more sinister designs such as ‘The Oracle’ – the colours are more muted and repressed and the mask reminds me of the masks seen during carnival time in Venice.
There are also pieces that have an aged, cracked and dilapidated appearance which is suggestive of decay or age. The faces are still stoic but the eyes on some are half closed and strike has having a resigned expression perhaps to the process of decay or age.
All the human abstract forms seem to explore identity without the need for a human body – they are almost bust-like in their appearance but with colour and expression in the physicality through the oddities that the artist is so attracted to.
In addition to these abstract forms Lisa has also done a series of bird with human style faces and again the head dresses. These for me are somewhat freaky but still draw my attention – the mixing of human and bird crossing labels and species.
The colours are often more muted in these bird series suggestive of almost an unhappy alliance but in another series Lisa has added party hats and colours as well as animal noses ‘tied’ which further confuses the eye …. the two dimensional form suddenly has a third animal form mixed in.
The jewelry and other items this artist makes often includes the faces she is so fascinated with but almost organic and abstract forms that use metal and semi-precious stones or pebbles as well as a variety of other media – she is an artist prepared to experiment and try new things whilst also very much having her own personal and recognisable voice.
I am really unsure what to make of Lisa Renner’s work but it intrigues and fascinates me particularly when I consider my studies into identity and labels – this is an artist who I would love to actually interview in person and ask questions about her ideas and processes. I love, love, love her use of colours and textures – they add character and explore the narrative whilst letting the view decide the story behind each piece.
Renner, L. (date unknown). Lisa Renner [online]. [Date Accessed: 28 March 2017]. Available from: http://www.lisarenner.com/polymer-clay/