The artist states her intention

LILY LAMBERTA: My name is Lily Lamberta. I’m a puppeteer and artist. When I began thinking about creating new works for Declaration, mostly I took what was most pressing to me, which is these pipeline issues that we’re going through in Virginia. I think environmentally it’s the largest issue, this water issue.

What is so fantastic about the location of my installation is that it’s quite visible, from any entrance, in the café. The snake is 20 feet long; the hawk is actively bursting towards you with the talons wrapped around the tail of the snake. The whole thing will read like a call to resistance against the pipeline which is mostly known already by a good amount of activists as this ‘black snake’ and the tradition of the Lakota prophecy of the black snake pipeline.

I’m really hoping this inspires conversation about the pipelines, and the water issue in Virginia and globally. That’s my intention. A thing that I’m most excited about is, a Native American local activist, and water protector in town, Venessa Red Bull Boling is leading us in a groundbreaking ceremony and she is blessing the installation through Native American ceremony and that really makes it complete for me.

Her Process

LILY LAMBERTA: I am committed to only using free and recycled materials. I have one worker who cuts the cardboard strips with me. There’s little to no wire. I alone build the armature and then I have help with my with my deputy puppeteer Sid Waters and sometimes Marcus Ferra Vontae. They will paper maché with me because it’s months just to make these two pieces. [9:24] And then they’re painted only by me. [9:13] They are literal tributes to the time that it takes to make them. They’re like prayer, you know.

My origin as an artist comes really from performance and then I met Bread and Puppet Theatre. Bread and Puppet is like the mothership of all political contemporary political puppet troops. And when I came home to Richmond, Virginia in 2006 I decided to start the Halloween parade. There’s really nothing more important to me than continuing a spontaneous active form of theater that addresses political issues.


Staff Pick: Lily Lamberta

Thursday, Jun 7

12:30 PM–1:00 PM