Lisa Marcus by Jo Hamilton

  • Title: Lisa Marcus
  • Artist: Jo Hamilton
  • Medium: Crocheted yarns, metal mesh backing
  • Size: 27"h x 27"w
  • Creation date: 2009
  • Added to collection: 2016
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: Building 2/1 outside Fuel Test Lab

This portrait of Portland restauranteur Lisa Marcus, made of crocheted yarns on a wire mesh backing, is one of a series of 16 portraits made by artist Jo Hamilton of the staff of the downtown Portland restaurant Le Pigeon and exhibited in 2010 at Russo Lee Gallery, and at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene) in 2014. Jo Hamilton’s crocheted portraiture is a fascinating combination of traditional technique with contemporary subject matter. A native of Scotland, Hamilton earned a degree in painting and drawing from the Glasgow School of Art, but after moving to Portland, she translated her artistic vision into the medium of crochet, which she had first learned as a child from her grandmother. She has made large-scale cityscapes as well as larger than life portraits, ranging from friends, to commission subjects, to mugshots of people processed through the Multnomah County Jail.

Knot by knot, Hamilton builds the image without a preset plan. The fragile objects that she makes (always including dangling loose strands) can have a startling realistic presence that seems to be in the process of forming or of unravelling simultaneously.