Elizabeth Thomson’s elegantly refined works redefine the way we view and consider the inherent beauty of the world around us. All aspects of her practice are meticulous and the technical virtuosity she employs to create the effects of optical illusion are simply breath-taking. Using an intense observation of nature as her starting point, Thomson convincingly recreates botanical, entomological or molecular forms that she then incorporates into surprisingly abstract geometric compositions.
In the Aviatrix series, oil painted bronze leaves of New Zealand native flora are arranged in exaggerated linear perspective; a ‘leaf’ becomes a ‘tree’ as the artist evokes aerial views of olive groves or elaborate formal European garden designs. Elizabeth’s innovative use of often unexpected combinations of materials include moulded and engraved fibreglass, glass bead embedded in resin and elaborate hand-formed glass elements. Although her primary reference is always the natural world, her reinterpretation and recontexualizing of these fundamental forms often results in an edgy sci-fi twist.
In 2006 Elizabeth’s contribution to New Zealand art was acknowledged and celebrated with a major 20 year survey exhibition curated by Gregory O’Brien for City Art Gallery, Wellington: Elizabeth Thomson: My Hi-Fi, My Sci- Fi. This extensive exhibition toured five public venues throughout New Zealand and was accompanied by a 50 page catalogue publication.