Bodily; suggestive and alluring. My work consists of abstract shapes and patterns based on the female form. I often make overt references to breasts, belly and pelvis; or other times, I create imagery that resembles bones or organs; visceral and sinewy.
These figural shapes are frequently accompanied by overlying skeletal structures. The “cages” or “nets” are derived from fashion, lingerie, and jewelry. I am interested in how it squeezes and contorts the body into unnatural shapes; as if packaged. It is restrictive as it tries to delineate the space in which the underlying forms can exist, but it is also decorative; ropes and ribbons.
Together the bodily forms and nets explore the societal decorum of feminine beauty, and the paradox of sexual expression defined by constraints. Silk and sisal, the ingredients for a rope that is soft to the touch but still has the potential to chafe.
Elizabeth Powell is a painter and printmaker in Burlington Vermont. She earned her MA and MFA in Printmaking and Painting from the University of Iowa in 2020 and a BA in Economics and Fine Arts from the University of Vermont in 2016. She has a keen interest in color theory, patterning, and the morphology of shapes as psychological representations of femininity. Having extensively studied gender inequality in her economic studies, Powell explores the way the same sociological differences that lead to a systemic economic imbalance between men and women, present themselves in visual taste for form, pattern, and color.
Since finishing her MFA, Powell has had solo shows in Iowa and upstate New York and is looking forward to her 2023 solo exhibition with Kishka Gallery in White River Junction, Vermont. Powell has attended residencies with Breck Create in Breckenridge, Colorado, In Cahoots in Petaluma, California, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico and Surel’s Place in Garden City, Idaho.