Innovative textile exhibition opening in Hong Kong February 2013
A solo exhibition of the textile artist’s oeuvre
Investigating darning as a source of imagery for contemporary practice
The Sac series explores protection and shelter in experimental woven structures
Liz Williamson’s work, accomplished and beautiful as it is, operates in a field of inquiry that is far more powerful and intriguing than an exquisite adornment of the body, or the inflections of innovative fabric-making, or the re-conceptualization of art mediated through textiles and design…The work strikes a chord with viewers, one that is both resonant and redolent of culture, memory, and individual identity.
- Gary Sangster
Associate Professor Liz Williamson queries the seams of art, design and craft in her textile based practice. Spanning the intricacies of hand-woven techniques and experimental digital processes, the artistry of her innovative work has made her a designer of continuing international relevance throughout her career.
Her contributions to the medium through her practice, teaching and advocacy saw her selected for the prestigious Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft awards in 2007. A solo exhibition titled Liz Williamson: Textiles opened at Object Gallery in Sydney in 2008, before touring nationally, accompanied by a book of the same name authored by Dr Grace Cochrane. Williamson’s textiles feature in most of Australia’s major public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum.
Her pieces embody a fractal of wrapping; cloth wrapped over skin, fibre bound to fibre. This intimacy with the surface and texture of the medium is reflected in the perpetual manual processes of dying, weaving and binding threads to their form. In an age of unprecedented overproduction of textile products, such refined and protracted handcraft is easily read as nostalgic, traditional or sentimental. Yet, rather than inheriting a traditional identity, Williamson’s practice expands upon the knowledge of the medium and maintains its relevance: contributing to its growth and integrating newly available technologies with the ancient practice of weaving – all the time remaining imbued with the weaver’s hand. Further challenging mass-production, Williamson’s pieces acknowledge sustainability as a design priority by integrating recycled fibres and reviving habits of the past such as darning.