Lydia Irene Lohse
Medium: Sculpture, Carving
Named for her grandmothers, Lydia Lohse and Irene Graves, Lydia Irene Lohse is an Alutiiq artist. The daughter of Doug Lohse and Lita Ecklund, she was born and raised on Kodiak Island, and spent much of her time between Kodiak and Spruce Island.
Amazed and intrigued by the petroglyphs found around Kodiak Island, and aware that many people would never have the chance to observe them first-hand because of their remoteness; Lydia chose to marry these important cultural icons to another art medium - clay sculptures - to bring them to the public in an intriguing manner.
Lydia also draws inspiration from the many stories of traditional ceremonies in which carved wooden masks were the centerpiece of rituals. After their use in ceremonies, the masks were offered to the flames of fires, forever gone. Today, Lydia has found a way Alutiiq masks can re-emerge from the flames. She fashions masks from clay and inscribed them with replicas of the Kodiak petroglyphs. Then she employs the art of pit-firing to breathe individuality into each piece. Only a few survive this hot, smoky process to become her beautiful works of art.
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