Stuffed, which encompasses collage and combine sculptures created by Cynthia Lahti, is
influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by personal
experiences and emotions. The artworks contain the belief that even the smallest artifact can
evoke the most powerful feelings, and draws inspiration from objects and images, both historical
and contemporary, that have the potential to reflect beyond themselves.
The collages and sculptural pieces combine materials from two vastly different sources,
resulting in expansion of the artworks’ potency and eloquence. The source images for the
collages include old magazines combined with images that were found, downloaded and printed
of objects that are for sale on Ebay. The sculptures combine manufactured objects with sculpted
ceramic components created by Ms Lahti. The elements are altered, manipulated, and
combined in a process that becomes an obvious and integral part of the completed piece. While
introducing an element of mystery it while also refers to art historical uses of “found” materials
by artists associated with Dada and Surrealism.
At the heart of these works is the potential of each source image to evoke a different emotional
response on a full spectrum of tensions and resonances, which is deepened when two images
and/or objects are put together. Each artwork weds and combines the sacred with the profane,
the wise with the stupid and the beautiful with the grotesque.
Cynthia Lahti creates artworks that are visually alluring and beautiful, despite their
overt imperfections and sometimes-humble materials. Inspired by objects and images,
both historical and contemporary, her creations reflect her belief that even the smallest
artifact can evoke the most powerful feelings. She grew up in Portland, Oregon,
leaving to earn her bachelor's degree at the Rhode Island School of Design. After
graduating in 1985 she returned to Oregon where she continues to live and make art,
finding inspiration in both its physical and psychological landscape and the way it
encourages her fearless studio practice.
Her art practice, that encompasses drawing, collage, and sculpture, is influenced by
human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by personal experiences
and emotions. She was awarded the Hallie Ford Fellowship for artists in 2013, the
Bonnie Bronson Fellowship in 2015 and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Individual
Support Grant in 2017.