Lilith de Salis Piper
Lilith de Salis Piper (b.1999) is the daughter of Julia de Salis and the artist Luke Piper. She is currently studying Fine Art at Falmouth University, Cornwall UK. Inspired by the relationship between the human form and the land, she works in mixed media: graphite, gouache, watercolours and ink using vivid colours on linen canvas. She works on large-scale canvases and panoramic scrolls as well as more illustratively on paper.
Influenced by the Celtic roots of Switzerland she transforms the raw interconnectedness of life and energy in nature into her paintings. *
“As a teenager, I have discovered that the mountains of Graubünden have also been part of Celtic (Helvetian) consciousness. So, it made sense to me how this energy of the landscape could be transformed into material forms, patterns, decorations, art and abstract symbols…
I have seen the work of other Swiss artists – like the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti that seem to throb and breathe the bare rock faces and peaks of the Alps within the characters of his life models. They invoke stories of creation and primitive ideas of light coming out of darkness: the great breath of the mother goddess as she timelessly sings life into existence. Giovanni Segantini expresses birth, life and death through his landscapes. I could see that he closely observed the mountain landscapes’ symbolic content, studying the daily lives of peasants and how they connect to the land, for example shepherds and their animals.”
Through the pointillist brushstrokes of Giovanni or the reticulated surface of Alberto’s sculptures, Lilith identifies with the Celtic traditions: the knotwork of Britain and Ireland expressed through manuscript illumination, stone carving and Celtic metal work, becomes formalised decoration of floral patterns and abstract symbols. In art, the term horror vacui has been used to describe this way of completely filling the canvas with rhythmical patterns, and Lilith connects back to the Celtic origins of this concept.
“But it’s not just pattern, the Salis family name derives from the willow (Salix in Latin) and is on the coat of arms. It is symbolic of the moon and associated with water – perfect for me. This is what the willow reminds us to do, to let go and surrender to our innermost selves and to gain a deeper understanding of our unconscious…”
Lilith is also making a strong symbolic connection between femininity and Nature, woman and earth, and finding a sense of oneness with the mountains, water and phases of the moon. Whilst celebrating her connection to the land in her Story of Lilith she is also exploring misconceptions of the female in the Genesis story.
“This is the place where I feel most free. Bathing naked in remote mountain lakes and streams and dancing in the meadows, I feel that the natural waters we bathe in flow from the open womb of the Celtic goddess. My inner woman roaming wild, through the soft and earthy scent of pine and chestnuts in the cool mountain breeze. Free yet connected as though on the shoulders of the great matriarch of all women”
*Some of earliest remnants of Celtic, Iron Age culture in Europe are found at La Téne, which continued in continental Europe until Roman times.
The complete book “Journey Out of Eden – The Book of Lilith” can be bought for CHF 1’750.- as one copy out of 50.