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Elizabeth Paterson

Elizabeth Paterson
Artist's statement

I have ideas that excite me and I try to make them into physical forms. Along the way I learn a lot and usually end up with something other than I imagined in the first place.
My ideas come from looking at my environment and reflecting on daily life. I have lived much of my life in Canberra so my work reflects this landscape and how we live here. Also I draw inspiration from the artworks of other people.
Nowadays I mostly work with papier-mache, paper and cardboard: I love playing with the materials and discovering what they can do. One could say my medium is texture. I emphasize the tactile qualities of my materials to help represent how I perceive the world around me.

Recent work
Standing in the Shower
  • Standing in the Shower, 2014
  • paper, cardboard, wire, Mirror Finish Polyfilla
  • Dimensions: 41x 24x 22cm
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie
Paradox in a Paddock (detail - Poplars)
  • Paradox in a Paddock (detail - Poplars), 2013
  • paper, cardboard, string
  • Dimensions: Dimensions variable
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie
Paradox in a Paddock (detail - Eucalypt)
  • Paradox in a Paddock (detail - Eucalypt), 2013
  • paper, cardboard, grass matting
  • Dimensions: Dimensions variable
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie
The Commonplace of Canberra
  • The Commonplace of Canberra, 2009
  • Papier mache, cardboard
  • Dimensions: 250 x 270 x 5cm approx
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie

The Commonplace of Canberra (detail)
  • The Commonplace of Canberra (detail), 2009
  • Papier mache, cardboard
  • Dimensions: 250 x 270 x 5cm approx
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie
The Commonplace of Canberra (detail)
  • The Commonplace of Canberra (detail), 2009
  • papier-mache, cardboard
  • Dimensions: Cockatoo 4 x 6 x0.5cm approx
  • Photo: Brenton McGeachie
Biography

Elizabeth graduated as a performer from the VCA Drama School in 1979 but was already creating visual elements as an integral part of her performances. These early performances developed into her solo masquerade shows that toured south-east Australia.

In 1988, supported by an Australia Council grant, Elizabeth attended a month long workshop with Tadeusz Kantor, France. Kantor's work was based in a visual arts language not the actor's process she was trained in. This facilitated her move into the visual arts. Thus began a long process during which Elizabeth continued with freelance theatre work (puppet making, designing and collaborating with many artists, for example Company Skylark, Canberra Youth Theatre and Song Ngoc Water Puppet Troup to create Water Stories for the Sydney and Canberra Festivals in 1997).

In 1994 Elizabeth completed a Graduate Diploma in Sculpture at Australian National University School of Art. Papier-mache and cardboard emerged as her preferred media. Further development during her ACT Creative Arts Fellowship in 1998 eventually led to two solo shows made entirely from papier mache and cardboard - The Monkey Show and Curious Cabinets - as well as commissions for the National Archives and courses in papier mache for adult education and Fibre Forums in Geelong, Brisbane and Launceston.


Selected exhibitions
2014:   Awaken , Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Ca, ACT
2013:   Paradox in a Paddock (solo), Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2010:   Vessel, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2008:   Growing Home - the street trees of Canberra, Visitors Centre Gallery, Australian National Botanic Gardens - Canberra
2007:   Shifting Perspectives, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2007:   Found In Public, Tuggeranong Art Centre Gallery - Canberra
2005:   Artisans in the Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney
2005:   29th Alice Craft Acquisition, Araluen Arts Centre - Alice Springs, NT
2005:   Hazelhurst Art Award: Art on Paper, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery - Sydney
2004:   Curious Cabinet, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2001:   The Monkey Show, Canberra Museum and Gallery - Canberra
Selected commissions/awards/grants
2013:   Kissing Galahs concrete sculpture - Village Building Company - The Fair, North Watson, ACT (with Bev Hogg and Mike MacGregor)
2012:   Lifebuoy concrete sculptures - Black Mountain Peninsular Playground, ACT (design by Bev Hogg)
2011:   Three Mice- Village Building Company, The Hub apartments, Bruce – Canberra (with Bev Hogg and Mike MacGregor)
2011:   Children playing soccer - Village Building Company, MacGregor - Canberra
2009:   Commonplace of Canberra, ACT Legislative Assembly commission
2008:   5 sheep and a dog, Harrison - Canberra (design by Bev Hogg)
2008:   National Archives of Australia commission, Strike a Pose exhibition
2006:   Concrete sculptures for Finn St Park, With Steven Holland, Bev Hogg, Turner Primary Class 5/6. Northside Community Services
2004:   Papier mache replica brick wall, National Archives and artsACT project grant. With Steven Holland
2003:   Suitcase sculpture for Bonegilla exhibition, National Archives
2002:   Concrete sculptures - Griffith shops, With Bev Hogg, Steven Holland
2001:   Set of masks for Canberra Youth Theatre
2000:   Concrete sheep and dog - Dickson shops, With Bev Hogg, Steven Holland
2000:   Large clown's head for outside wall of Questacon
Selected publications
2009:   Soboslay, Z., Growing Histories: the influence of the Bayeux Tapestry on Elizabeth Paterson’s Growing Home, Art Monthly Australia, #218, pp38-40
2001:   Anderson, K. and Ross, I., Performance Design in Australia, Craftsman House, pp 66-67
1998:   Vella, M. and Rickards, H., Theatre of the Impossible: Puppet Theatre in Australia, Craftsman House, pp 126-129

 

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