Liz Earth

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Giant Seed

2006
vine prunings, native foliage, steel frame

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Te Awanga artist Liz Earth has earned a growing reputation for her ecologically informed, site-specific installations. A keen ornithologist, birds, eggs and nests are recurring subjects for this sculptor and ceramicist. The Bird Has Flown, her 2005 entry to Waiheke’s Sculpture on the Gulf lamented the disappearance of New Zealand’s Giant Eagle and other species lost to extinction. 
 
Earth’s environmental conscience is also evident in Brick Bay’s Giant Seed and Egg Basket, site-specific projects that utilise the materials of the local environment to create new, man-made forms. Staying at Brick Bay, Earth collected abandoned foliage including native flora and discarded vine cuttings and fashioned them into large, organic masses that ‘…celebrate the diversity of forms expressed by nature at Brick Bay.’*  Both works emanate a natural fecundity. A homage to Papatuanuku, Earth intends the works to be viewed as a warning, too. Her work examines the relationship between the existing characteristics of the site and evidence of human intervention. She manipulates the landscape as a material in its own right.
 
Earth observes that; ‘people, the (supposedly) most advanced and intelligent of all beings, have chosen to dominate, rather than to harmonise with their environment.  They plunder, poison, and pollute their very own Mother and as a consequence, a multitude of species have been, and are being driven to extinction.’* Earth’s revival of abandoned material hints at entropy – the propensity of all things to tend towards disintegration. Ephemeral by nature, Giant Seed and Egg Basket address the impact of time and natural (human) forces upon the environment. Earth observes that while we see stability in the land’s mute permanence, we also exploit and attack it.  Acknowledging humankind’s desire to leave our mark on the landscape, hers is a socially aware intervention.
SB
* Artist’s statement Brick Bay 2006

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