CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #13: Liz O Connell
Liz O Connell is an emerging artist with Irish and Yorkshire heritage. Through her research into her family's links with textiles, she creates visual sketchbooks and film and photographs. She explores domestic narratives by making glass textiles and using them performatively, exploring complex ideas about gender and 'invisible' work . Alongside her sculptural pieces, she reappropriates domestic detergents and materials, using glass cloths and subverting domestic chores by filming the process and creating film stills and canvases.
"I want us to consider and open a discussion in recording domestic work in economic statistics and psychological impact of constant giving and invisible labour, my films and photographs capture this process in the feminised domestic sphere which is usually hidden. Both my parents worked in mills after arriving in England and I watched with fascination as my mother constructed garments using a treadle sewing machine. In exploring the fabric of who we are, I create objects and textiles to explore the idea of 'work'.
My practice has evolved through my Master’s degree (MA) (at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland University) (2018-2020). During this course, I created glass textiles and threads, experimented with sculpture and print, and explored textile heritage and the social context of women's work. In particular, I have made glass objects such as woven pieces fabricated from glass cane and thematically made pieces that reference to women's psychological connections with thread, such as fixing and mending, and states of 'losing one’s thread' or being 'threadbare'.
After starting research in the archives at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley in Leeds, I can now continue working with expert glass technicians and fabricators Brian Jones from Wearside Glass in Sunderland and Tuffnell Glass in East Riding to develop new ideas, using flame torch skills that will create new work in 2022 exploring the working lives and the textile heritage of the Mills."
You can see more of Liz's work on CuratorSpace and her website, or you can connect with her on Instagram.
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