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Elizabeth has always been involved in creative activities. Though trained as an art teacher, she got caught up in the restaurant world, eventually opening her own restaurant in Manchester. In her forties she finally took her formal artistic training further and went to art school, then set up a studio at home. Early on she took part in a nationally touring show of humorous ceramics selected by Johnny Vegas. She has exhibited solo and in group shows, undertaken installations and many individual commissions. Highlights for her have been the installations where she has created little figures that explore and experience real environments. She is not prolific; there are extended interruptions, and she works slowly.
She mainly creates figures. She loves the shapes that human bodies make and the stories they tell. Using a visual language of gesture and stance – for example, the tilt of a neck or the set of the shoulders – she tries to express a state of mind or a moment in a narrative. The results can be serious, light-hearted, ambiguous, enigmatic. Ideas either come in a flash or develop over time, prompted by people-watching, conversations, perhaps a mere phrase. Contemporary dance is an influence, as are media images and of course visual art. Sometimes a title is the starting-point for a piece, in other cases the original idea couldn’t be articulated in words and the title only comes later.
Her sculptures are hollow, built using thin slabs of an off-white, slightly gritty clay that she cuts out, a little like dressmaking. The surfaces are decorated with layers of oxides, stains and glazes fired to 1090°C.