"What are the sensual takeaways from being in a place? When I think about how it feels to be lying in my backyard in the hammock watching the pecan trees it's not static images of green leaves. It's spectral light, it's rainbow light moving through. It has pink and it has orange and it has all of these colors."
Elizabeth Chiles creates photographic collages and complex composites with images she has taken of nature. Growing up her love of the outdoors and the openness of the big Texas sky lent itself to her eventual pursuit of the natural world as her primary subject. As a child each day was an eternity without rules, with time to explore and enjoy her shared suburban wilderness.
She found her innate calling to create art in college while studying art history and went on to study photography, video, performance, and book making in graduate school. During her years at school she also worked at many prestigious art galleries and gained a very useful education there as well. Since moving back to Austin after graduating she has continued to purse the same questions that have fascinated and motivated her from the beginning.
How do you communicate through images the quiet moments and slowness of life in a fraction of a second captured by a camera? How do you make work that is alive and true to what a moment in the world is like? She finds much joy in the making of the work and wants to contribute her own voice to the dialogue happening across time with artists past and present.
Her most recent project and current exhibition at grayDUCK Gallery is called WEAVE. Images of plants, tress, and clouds have been woven together with vivid colors that are based more on personal perception than any realistic rendering. They are sensual takeaways from being in a place, light moving through things, and experiments seeking to shift perspectives and move the viewer through the world in a very alive way. The whole project including the exhibit, poetry, performance, and workshops, is a conversation of lines of interaction, each being an individual consciousness, woven together with horizontal lines of metaphorical text and dialogue to create something stronger and more whole. A textile of reciprocity.
The breadth of Elizabeth’s knowledge of art, history, and photography is vast and we only just scratched the surface of what she could share. Hopefully there will be a part two at some point. Please enjoy the interview and if you come across this episode before May 20, 2018 please make a point to see her work at grayDUCK Gallery.
Exhibition Dates: April 13th - May 20th, 2018
2213 E. Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX. 78702
(E. Cesar Chavez & Mildred)
Hours: Thur-Sat 11-6pm & Sun 12-5pm
Parking is located in the back of the building via the alley off of Mildred
Some of the subjects we discuss:
Childhood in nature
College/art history major
Move to Houston/then Boston
Krakow Gallery/making work
Commercial gallery education
Client relationships/selling work
Graduate school at SFAI
Fraenkel Gallery/job miracle
Respect for artwork
Move back to Austin
Leap before you look
Lora Reynolds Gallery/teaching
Weave at GrayDuck
Introduction of vivid color
Banner image by Elizabeth Chiles
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