Lillian Pitt works with various media and materials but she is best known for her ceramic masks. Pitt's inspiration comes from art and culture of her ancestors, who lived at the Columbia River Gorge. Her intentions are to honor her Warm Springs, Wasco and Wishxam ancestors and their culture.
Pitt began working with clay as a medium at the age of thirty-five with the encouragement of R.C. Gorman and other mentors. As Pitt worked with indigenous images, she also began to search for a way to present her own tribal experiences, and began to make masks representing Spilyay (Coyote), Stick Indians and other characters in the stories she grew up with at Warm Springs.
Pitt is clearly an innovator within her tribal tradition. She works in clay, bronze and a wide variety of other materials. No matter what medium she is working in, Lillian Pitt's work references the wisdom of her ancestors and stories handed down for generations on both sides of the Columbia River Gorge. She feels this knowledge is imperative for future generations.
Lillian Pitt writes this about her print, Living with the Ancient Stories: "The stories are rock paintings that were painted up to 10,000 years ago. No one knows the exact meanings of the pieces but I love the mystery and sacredness of the images. This work of ancient pictographs and petrogylphs speaks of a time and continuity of a culture that extends beyond the impact and interruption of the Lewis and Clark expedition."
Mount Hood Community College, Mount Hood, OR