ArtLisa Reinertson

Lisa Reinertson

  • The artist with Jane Goodall and her husband (© Lisa Reinertson)

Lisa Reinertson studied at the University of California, Davis, and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has worked as a lecturer at various colleges and universities. In California she had 12 one-person exhibitions and took part in many group exhibitions all over the USA.

The artist’s website:

How did you get to gorillas?

I have always felt a strong connection with animals. My interest in primates began with my fascination with Jane Goodall's work with the chimpanzees in Tanzania which I saw on National Geographic as a young girl. In college at UC Davis, I took several anthropology courses and learned more about both the work with the orangutans and the gorillas. Of course, seeing the film, Gorillas in the Mist also made a strong impact on me. I started incorporating primate images into my ceramic sculptures in the early 1980's while a college student, with a desire to make a connection between humans and nature by combining the human with our closest relatives.

What do you think makes gorillas special?

It is just recently that I have sculpted the gorillas. I am heartbroken that these wonderful beings are threatened with extinction. In my sculpture "Sleep of Reason", I want to show the intimacy and care that the mother gorillas has with its child - so like us. But the gorillas are perched on a pillar of humans floating in an unconscious "sleep" of awareness. It is our responsibility to be stewards of the earth and the life on it. The gorillas' survival is dependent upon us to wake up.

How do you think your work can help gorillas?

My hope is that art can touch the consciousness of others.