2016 Finalist – Elizabeth Kelly

Groovy, 2016
sculpted cast glass, 220 x 260 x 230
Photo: Steve Keough

Established Artist Category Finalist


Elizabeth Kelly began working with glass as a trainee at the original JamFactory Workshops in St Peters in 1985 before undertaking a Certificate of Art at North Adelaide School of Art. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University, and a Masters degree at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, where she also taught and was a research assistant in coloured glass. Following this she spent three years as Studio Head of Glass at JamFactory in Adelaide and then travelled through the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe working and demonstrating in various studios. In 2003 she established her own purpose built studio, Studio Tangerine, in Canberra to further her artistic aspirations. Kelly maintains a broad practice, embracing sculpture, commissions and object design, with a strong emphasis in coloured glass applied to architecture. In 2010 she was awarded a Churchill Memorial Fellowship to travel internationally to research glass in architecture.

“Groovy is one in a body of work I am currently developing that examines the origins of life and elemental organic geometry as a basis for research. Abiogenesis is the not yet fully understood process by which life arises from non-living matter such as simple organic compounds. I examine the chirality of chemical structures that trigger growth sequences and have derived inspiration from marine invertebrates. I respond by creating works that explore rhythmic repetition and patterns of cast glass elements. Materiality, form, colour and light play a huge part in the thought process of construction; I am informed by having worked with this material for the last 30 years. Throughout this time I have always striven to understand scale and explore structure.”