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Lisa May

North/South Bottle Palm Folly, 2021, Cast paper, Courtesy of the Artist.

Hear from the Artist



My name is Lisa May Tobin and the work I am exhibiting in the Newport Biennial is called North South Bottle Palm Folly. I can’t tell which side you’re viewing, but I can let you know that under all that detail is a structure composed over a large lamp shade that was heading for the trash and the same for the palm fronds that were originally atop a large glass pineapple the kind you may have seen as outdoor lighting at the Hotel Viking. I constructed the piece utilizing paper mache and then added layers of hand made sheets of paper composed of cotton fiber and abaca pulp. Abaca is a relative of the banana plant. The decorative affects were inspired by my many visits to the Florida Keys. The South side of the Bottle Palm reminds me of the conch houses of Key West with their colorful doors and carved pineapple trim. Feel free to open the door and have a look inside at the shelf. A Mardi Gras celebration inspired the addition of a carnival mask hanging on a wrought iron railing. See if you can find the 2 Geckos spying on each other in the palm roots.

The North side brings us back to Rhode Island where we are enjoying the Spring with garden trellis with winding vines, flowers bursting forth, the iconic beach chair and stained glass window.

By the way, the pineapple is a universal symbol used to welcome travelers. So welcome to the Biennial and enjoy the rest of the exhibit!