My work is focused on material culture. Using humor and metaphor, I explore how humans interact emotionally with an objective external world: the objects they surround themselves with, the art objects they create, and the commodity objects they consume. I am also interested in how humans use language and poetry to describe the intangible (feelings, aspirations, the future).
I grew up in the Midwestern US and I know crochet from that context. My fiber works are eclectic and improvisational crochet-made pieces. The work is slow going, tedious, and compositional impulses emerge over time: trained as a painter, the pace of crafting slows down my process. Sudden spontaneous decisions only are understood visually later on, long hours or days later, as the piece is worked. Working this way has allowed me to physically address ideas of time in my work and given me a visual way of thinking about personal action and the artist’s hand.
There is a strong art-historical based craft precedent that I am drawn to: I think about William Morris’ socialist idealism of the late Victorian age and Bauhaus artists (Anni Albers’ weavings and Josef Albers’ color theory principals). In the lockdowns of the Spring, I was able to maintain a studio practice from my living room with a crochet needle, and the constant, repetitive, motion of the crochet needle soothed.
My imagery is informed both by futurist speculation and past (experienced) visual motifs: the video games of the 80s and 90’s, the patterns of the archeological artifact, and Greek and roman ruins. Re-occurring themes include the idea the art object as a stage, or alternately, as a fragment of something larger or a ruin. Always, I seek images that are as simple and obvious as they are strangely incoherent.
Elizabeth Thach is a Boston based artist and curator. She received an MFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and BA from Vassar College. Her work has received recognition: recent awards include a Berkshire Taconic Foundation Artist Grant, the George Nick Painting Prize, and the Vermont Studio Center Residency Award.