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Grant Recipient

Detail showing the portion of photograph behind translucent mother of pearl and the construction of the mother of pearl chain

Lillian Luft

Windgate-Lamar Fellowship


My practice focuses on the connections between materials, their histories, and what they imply about the objects they are part of. I use material choice and recontextualized historical craft practices to explore personal and cultural histories and examine them in relation to the past. My work explores deeply personal experiences relating to gender, identity, and memory, and makes their value visible to the viewer. I consciously blend seemingly opposing materials, as well as historical and contemporary craft practices to create objects that simultaneously confirm and deny convention and expectation. As a trans person, this subversion is a core component of my work that explores my personal experiences, and though it may not feature prominently in every piece it informs each of them. The two materials that feature most in my work, mother of pearl and steel, are each connected strongly with ideas of gender and strength, using them together allows me to pull on those associations and subvert them. These contrasts are key in illustrating my relationship to the past; they allow me to create meaning through material associations and shared history.

Bio of the Artist

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Milwaukee, WI


University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee




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