Elizabeth Day, artist statement in Material Girrrl: All That Shine, China Cultural Centre, exhibition catalogue, curated by Nicholas Tsoutas, 2022.

Excerpt from exhibition catalogue, Elizabeth Day: “Unravelling opportunity shop jumpers have amongst a variety of other processes become part of the meaning and intent of my work. I also use references to gardening and other traditionally domestic (female) everyday activities. During my art school education I became a painter but always felt at a distance from that substance and its masculine traditional histories, as well as an elitist idea about artists being special or distinct individuals, deserving of some elevated status. The unravelling began as a play on Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings that the tendrils of wool described. Possibly growing up in the north of England, where weaving, knitting and in general fabrication of cloth were a fundamental part of the history of the industrial revolution, gave me a desire for connectedness with that tradition, but also a sense of collectivity. I think that my work embraces traditions of care. Opportunity shop garments, apart from their implications about recycling are imbued with the DNA, memories and even scents of their former owners. It is the dimensions of a life being lived that make these coloured threads richer than paint could ever be. In making a series of work that in part derives from my work in marginal spaces, where there is often a need for re-evaluation and ‘unravelling’ I find the use of these garments appropriate. Likewise in the unravelling of words that are integrated into the stitched surfaces, I evoke thoughts and circumstances that are part of Australia’s ongoing colonial history. The vitality and vibrancy of the colourist works allude to an aspirational transcendence of histories.”

Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words / Invisible Worlds, 2017-2022, unravelled wool, on muslin and felt, framed. Various sizes. Installation view: Material Girrrl: All That Shine, curated by Nicholas Tsoutas, China Cultural Centre Sydney. From top left: “Whatever you do don’t talk about it”, “Having a family member in prison is worse than leprosy”, “He who would touch the heart of others must have their own heart seered”, “She was denied a right of reply”, “Diagnosed with vicarious trauma”, “Nothing about us without us”, “Did anyone ask if she was angry”, “…” Photo: Docqment.

Group exhibition at the China Cultural Centre (Sydney)
Artists: Dandizi Chen, Euphemia Bostock, Peihua Chen, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Qiyao Chen, Elizabeth Day, Yang Liu, Beata Geyer, Yi Pang, Rox De Luca, Wenmin Tong.
Curated by Nicholas Tsoutas.
6 April – 27 May 2022 (Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 5pm)

A dialogue between Chinese and Australian women artists. This exhibition brings together 11 Chinese and Australian women artists from different cultural backgrounds to have a dialogue around the theme of “All Things Shine”. It is the 3rd contemporary art exhibition of women artists at the China Cultural Centre in Sydney.

The exhibition shines a bright light on the complexity of materials that artists use in the production of their work, and the materiality of the artwork by women artists. Material Girrrl explores the passion that the artists blend their artistic concepts into various materials through cutting-edge techniques, bringing new life and soul into the contemporary artworks in the form of ceramics, wooden sculptural drawings, fabric drawing, installations, performance videos, animation and more.

The dialogue is not only a platform for celebrating women artists, but also promoting mutual understandings that allow our communities to engage with respect for the intersections, similarities and differences within our contemporary art practices and cultural desires.

China Cultural Centre (Sydney)
Level 1, 151 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Beijing Mingtai Culture & Art Co., Ltd