Wavering Paper Form uses spun paper fibre crocheted into a beautiful, delicate doily form. Aston uses handmade Kozo paper from Japan in the spinning process. The sheets are folded lengthwise and cut into 2mm strips, leaving the edge of the sheet intact. She tears the paper end to end, to create one continuous thread and then spins it on an old fashioned spinning wheel. The fibres are dry. Spinning paper into fine threads is referred to as shifu in Japan and has a long history.
Antiquated Notions is a series of works that explore the relationships and residual connections we feel to domestic objects of the past. The patterns and forms explored take reference from the knotted and interlaced structures of lace doilies. The process of free-motion embroidery and burning are used to intricately render a fabric of negative spaces, as the images are laboriously burned-out and excavated from within the fibre. Each piece in the series works to examine themes of attachment, transience and mourning while celebrating a reverence for the preciousness of materials and the hand-made object.
Increasing Your Knot Vocabulary uses the same methods as Antiquated Notions however this work references macramé patterns. Comprised of a delicate network of paper and thread, each strand works to interconnect a structure of fibres that weaves notions of the contemporary with the traditional. Aston finds a great sense of poeticism in knot-work as being one of the oldest, most basic and sophisticated technologies. She is interested in the knot as a universal language, one that carries residual histories and memory, connecting the past to the present as a living tradition.
Multi-Dimensional Lace Work examines the fragility, intimacy, strength and tension that exists in deconstructed textile forms through the manipulation of paper and porcelain surfaces. This approach to making can be seen as an ongoing dialogue that is informed by previous bodies of work while acting as a starting point for developing new directions and ideas. Aston painted onto paper surfaces, cut-outs and embroideries. The materials are then fired and the paper burns away in the kiln, resulting in the creation of residual impressions, textures and memory that reflect upon the absence of the object that was there before. Alternately, large slabs of clay are rolled out, carved and hand-formed as a series of large scale patterns begin to take shape, expanded and exploded outwards, magnified from photographs of existing works.
Lizz Aston is a fibre-based artist, currently living and working in Toronto, Ontario. In her work, Aston is interested in bridging gaps between traditional textile practice and contemporary art and design. Focusing on themes surrounding knot-work and interlacement, her work encompasses both sculpture and installation, including interactive and site-specific projects as well as collaborative projects in porcelain, concrete and furniture design.
Aston holds an Advanced Diploma from the Sheridan Institute of Technology – Crafts and Design, Textiles program (2009) and has recently completed a three-year Artist-in-Residence program in the Textile Studio at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. She is the recipient of numerous Ontario Crafts Council awards, including an RBC Emerging Artists Studio Setup Award, 2012. Her work is currently featured in the Love Lace: International Lace Award exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.