Elizabeth Powell

Silk and Sisal

November 3 - November 25

Artist Statement

Bodily; suggestive and alluring. My work consists of abstract shapes and patterns based on thefemale form. I often make overt references to breasts, belly and pelvis; or other times, I createimagery 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 andcontorts the body into unnatural shapes; as if packaged. It is restrictive as it tries to delineate thespace 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 theparadox 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 tochafe.


Elizabeth Powell is a painter and printmaker in Burlington Vermont. She earned her MA andMFA in Printmaking and Painting from the University of Iowa in 2020 and a BA in Economicsand 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. Havingextensively studied gender inequality in her economic studies, Powell explores the way the samesociological 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 islooking forward to her 2023 solo exhibition with Kishka Gallery in White River Junction,Vermont. Powell has attended residencies with BreckCreate in Breckenridge, Colorado,InCahoots in Petaluma, California, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexicoand Surel’s Place in Garden City, Idaho.