There is a suggestion in Elizabeth Kley’s work that we are living in ancient times. The source seems so clear. In her patterns and colors she has bridged the gap between the very distant past and the present. Elizabeth makes contemporary work for the gods and goddesses of history.
These sketches are studies for the ceramics she is most known for, pieces she creates from visual references and thoughts; combining places, patterns, images and impressions simultaneously. Each of her works reference a culture, a civilization, a travel, a place, something she has witnessed, something she has seen and heard. The works are oddly familiar, comfortably so, and yet, one can never pin them down.
Her process begins on paper and continues into ceramic, then back to paper, as a pattern is sketched and then placed onto the ceramic piece for the trial and error. Once she settles on the surface imagery, it is transferred onto the ceramic to be permanently painted, glazed and fired. An image, a sketch in ink, an illusion, a transference, heat, fire, color and then the end. There is a rhythm, it is chemical.
When asked about her relationship to 2-D and 3-D she replied, “The drawings are fluid…..they give me a chance to really improvise. The ceramics are more planned. The designs appear on both so they can be experienced both ways.” One receives something quite powerful in her work from both dimensions.
Paper and ink, clay, paint and glaze, a continuous back and forth, a crossing of cultures, an infinite vision.