Using The Sun To Find North

Lisa Naples

Oct 2nd - Nov 15th, 2020

TCS Resident Artist Alumni Lisa Naples

"Using the Sun to Find North” is one of the chief ways people navigate when they find themselves disoriented and with no compass or map.  The exhibition includes two series that explore this theme. The collection of plate paintings titled “Wayfinding” begins with our heroine, a red tailed hawk having hit her mid-life and fallen flat out of the sky, exhausted. This series tracks her progress as she faces choices that will decide the quality of her remaining days. She can play it safe and live comfortably in the realm of what she knows and/or she can embrace the gyroscopic world of guidance from a far less familiar realm that can’t be named, only experienced.

The series of 6 running hares in stop-frame locomotion illustrate the animating force coming into form, having it’s life and exiting back from where it came. This progression is titled “Impermanence.”

"I’ve come to see by taking on this challenge that there is only ever one step ahead of me and that I’m capable of taking 1 step. I’ve learned to stay, to be where I am; focused and engaged." - Lisa Naples

Check out an interview with Lisa about the show here in the South Philly Review. And here in Ceramics Monthly.

Wayfinding Series (plates)

In the urban legend this plate series uses as its source of inspiration, there are 2 clear paths that the exhausted hawk must choose between. As I journeyed along, manifesting the work, I was simultaneously living this story out in my life. What I noticed, time and again was that these 2 paths were not clear, distinct or separate. One wasn’t ‘virtue’ while the other was ‘vice’. They were intertwined actually. Making a choice toward coping strategies one day informed future choosing. Making a choice toward surrender another day didn’t promise it would continue. It was information. That’s all. Which is why I chose to hang the plates within the Vesica Piscis geometry: to show integration.

Impermanence Series

Here, the animating force (represented by the hares covered in geometric formations) enters the vessel, takes it’s run and leaves the vessel. It points to the fact that we are not our bodies. And that what we are beyond the body, doesn’t die. The gold patch on the vessel in “Conception” represents the sacred alchemy happening when Spirit enters form.

Making this group of running hares gave me the opportunity to work at a much larger scale than my norm. This put me on a growth edge of learning.


In the series of hare bells, we see the arc of this story being played out all the way to peace and integration.


These 2 pieces represent what’s next for me in my studio work. They are just the beginning of the idea. What I notice in the piece with 2 chimneys (which was the 2nd one made) is that those chimneys will become necks in the next iteration. And that those necks will have heads making this one body with 2 heads. How those heads interact with one another will reveal a new story for me to discover and bring into form.