Lisa Bigalke - 2016 RAM Artist Fellowship Recipient

Artist Statement
Most people have a place that makes them feel alive. For me this is being outside with my feet in the grass. Farm, park, garden--it doesn't matter, as long as plants are growing. The bulk of my imagery has come from places explored with friends -- the Chequamegon National Forest, Grant Park in Milwaukee, or even my garden.

For me this body of work began on a trip with my sister and mother exploring places found in my father’s notebooks. He died when we were children on a hunting expedition and this was a way to feel close to him.

Traveling through these places, being able to document through photos, drawings, and notes, gives me the opportunity to reinterpret and organize. I include in my final works maps, statistical information, and personal letters to indicate reality, the actuality of these places and my relationship to them.

The spirit of the place comes through in the color and texture. The intensity of the color often reflects time of day exaggerated, such as, a mid-morning golden yellow light shimmering through the leaves at Buckhorn State Park. Abstracting from nature allows me to create decorative patterns and visual texture in both the macro and micro of the landscape. I include a readable landscape with an enlarged abstracted fossil, flower or water pattern. This layering of surface texture requires the viewer to interact with the rich surfaces. They are forced to peel back the layers and read it at my pace.

The overlapping and concentrated use of the pattern puts the viewer into the realm of my journey- for they travel on my journey through the image. Those who look once may just find a pretty landscape; those who get lost in the color and pattern find the meaning.

Conversation in the Studio with RAM's Curator of Exhibitions Lena Vigna.

Visit lisambigalke.com for more information about this artist.

Lisa Bigalke
Hollyhock in Hanover, 2014
Reduction relief print
11 1/2 x 9 inches
Lisa Bigalke
Parkside, 2014
Reduction relief print
5 x 12 inches
Lisa Bigalke
Hostas Over Ashland, 2015
Reduction relief print
9 x 5 1/2 inches
Lisa Bigalke
Pumpkin Seeds Over the Fox River, 2015
Reduction relief print
23 x 17 inches