Lilah Shepherd

Lilah Shepherd

Lilah Shepherd received her BFA from the University of Texas at Tyler. She and her husband Jamin, a fellow ceramic artist, recently moved to Iowa City, Iowa from Portland, Oregon to attend the University of Iowa for their MFA degrees. They have lived a nomadic existence across the States and France. Lilah is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus in ceramic sculpture and oil painting. Her oil paintings & coil-built clay sculptures create non objective environments using forms discovered through her stream of consciousness documentation and usage of color. Her work explores her experience of human existence surrounding relationships and identity and is influenced by her love of pattern and form.


Ideas, thoughts, innate, imagine Visual, stream of consciousness Draw, translate, inform, line Symmetry, repetition, mirror, pivot Structure, transparency, space Create, belong, environment, comfort Play, discover, insight, evolve Relationships, interact, respond Connections, detachments, individual, community, culture Document, archive, record, organize, collect Research, refine Identity, diversity, experience, compelled Color, palette, pattern, semantics Artifact, symbol, language, shape, form 

I am interested in visual thoughts and the documentation of these thoughts through drawing. My sketchbooks serve as a cataloguing system for me to retain these images and refer to them in the creation of my work. 

I use coils as a translation of the lines I use within my two-dimensional work. The coils become tangible sculptures that can also be thought of as two-dimensional drawing. 

I am intrigued by translation and think of my practice of moving between two- dimensional and three-dimensional working in the same way as translation between languages. Moving between two-dimensional and three-dimensional allows room for discovery. 

I am aesthetically drawn to repetition and symmetry. Coil forms start out flat; sides are then mirrored, pivoted and multiplied. I am drawn to curving line which causes my coil forms to reference the sphere or circle. 

I am interested in human relationships. My coil forms create space inside the coils outlining and encasing the air. In that way, they are transparent and suggest the human characteristic of transparency. 

I am interested in the struggle of communication. I use limited color palettes to glaze my works in a repetition of stripes. We each have associations and connotations we place with words and colors. I use different collections of colors to convey the idea of semantics. This also allows for a greater diversity of color among forms placed in the same composition and visual complexity created by the camouflaging of forms. 

I am interested in the individual and how we possess unique identities and personalities. I create a diversity of forms reflecting the diversity of each human and how we understand our own identity through abstraction.


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