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Lizzie Lilley

Artist Biography

Lizzie’s current practice centres around a responsive process of slow abstraction of photographic imagery. Images are distilled into shape and form, through an instinctive process focussed on colour and texture, transforming, and interrogating the image whilst retaining something of its essence. Her recent body of work has produced a tension between moments of panicked movement with a saturation of colour, and those of calm and quiet reflection. The work currently references an eclectic mix of moments of social history from any point in the past 150 years. She is initially informed by photographic images capturing events of interest to her, which often have an inherent connection with place. Parallels can often be drawn with many global issues being experienced today, particularly moments of civil unrest but also historic moments of innovation and disaster in polar and space exploration. The subject matter is hugely varied and can be influenced by literature, film, music and podcasts. An essential element of her practice is small drawn studies, usually made in coloured pencil and informed by one or more of the source images. Restricted palettes are an important tool, which are determined by an unconscious repetitive process. The interplay of colour and texture somewhat overtakes the subject matter of the original imagery. The drawn studies go on to inform both large scale drawings and painted works, which become abstract interpretations of the source images. The works take on their own significance or feeling: planes of colour and texture, often retaining some element of the original image. A figure or object may be visible, inviting the viewer to interrogate the forms whilst instilling a sense of space, movement, and time.

Graduating from Gray’s School of Art in July 2021, Lizzie has recently been awarded the Royal Scottish Academy’s John Kinross scholarship to travel to Florence. Her work has also been awarded the RGU Arts and Heritage Stand Out Work and Purchase Award 2021.

Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries 2023.

Selected Exhibitions