Liz Williams Body Language by Margot Osborne, Liz Williams

Liz Williams Body Language by Margot Osborne, Liz Williams

Liz Williams: Body language celebrates the remarkable figurative sculptures of Australian ceramicist Liz Williams. In this first comprehensive survey of her ceramics, Margot Osborne traces the evolution of Liz Williams’ impressive body of coil-built ceramic sculptures commencing in the late 1970s. Over this forty-year period Williams’ work was marked by an increasing refinement and technical prowess in her stylisation of the figure and her encapsulation of the subject’s inner life through pose, facial expression and bodily adornment.

Liz Williams: Body language features 70 full-page colour images of Williams’ ceramics and her home/studio by leading photographer Grant Hancock. It also includes essays by Catherine Speck, Damon Moon and Wendy Walker.

When Liz Williams died in March 2017 after a short illness, her friends and colleagues decided to launch a fund-raising campaign towards a publication in honour of her artistic legacy and her contribution to Australian ceramics. This book was made possible by the philanthropy of private donors to that campaign and by the support of Arts South Australia.

Liz Williams’ choice of the artisan medium of clay and her distinctive sculptural approach have made her art difficult to contextualise in terms of contemporary styles in both sculpture and ceramics. This, and her decision to practise from a base in Adelaide, contributed to her relatively low profile during her life. This first retrospective survey makes it possible to fully appreciate Williams’ achievement and her contribution to ceramics in Australia.

Praise for Liz Williams: ‘As well as an exploration of her work, the book also allows glimpses at the late artist’s character as told by people who knew and loved her.’ - Katharine Ahern, Well Made

‘Its narratives and outstanding photo illustrations, many courtesy of Grant Hancock, honour the artist’s work and achievements.’ - John Neylon, The Adelaide Review

‘An insightful account of this remarkable ceramicist.’ - Art Almanac

‘The incredible work which Williams produced is beautifully portrayed by Adelaide photographer Grant Hancock in 70 pages of images … I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in art, especially ceramic art.’ - Jan Kershaw, Glam Adelaide

Dr Margot Osborne is a writer, curator and art history researcher. She is currently an honorary visiting research fellow, University of Adelaide.

Published by Wakefield Press Jacketed hardback ISBN 9781743054932 144 pages 270 x 225 mm


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  • Weight: 1305gm

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