This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Liz Robb.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
Currently I’m creating a new collection of work inspired by the colors, textures, history, and life in desert landscapes. It relates the desert’s dryness, distinct palette, openness, transparency, and unknowability, using techniques of reflection, obscuring, and suspension of movement. Attempts to reason about the defined but seemingly empty space are organically accomplished through the generation of a familiar grid.
After doing residencies in both Joshua Tree and Oaxaca, I’m looking to break the two-dimensional grid in favor of more fluid, three-dimensional concepts that consider negative space and light. The built environment will become the blank canvas where I project my vision, pulling from the extraordinary natural environment of the desert, layering ideas, imagery, sound, and traditional textile techniques.
What is an artist’s responsibility?
I try my best to thoughtfully channel my brain and heart through my work. I personally feel responsible for authentically expressing myself in whatever way feels true.
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
This piece was transformative for me in many ways. I was studying in Lacoste, France, and for the first time I experienced travel and place from a new vantage point. It allowed me to express myself differently and with new purpose through my work. The materials foraged, dyed, and manipulated were the magic, the process just as important as the final piece.
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
Never say never! Right now the wild ones live in my notebook, but given the right opportunity, may come to life! I’d like to create some wildly large works that are over the top and transport the viewer to a new dimension.
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
—The ArtSlant Team
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(Image at top: Huldufólk III, 2015, Icelandic wool, reeds, 60 x 20 inches. Photo: Abby Martell)