(this page was last updated in August 2022)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1962.
Lives and works in London, UK.
PIPA 2021 nominee.
Elizabeth’s aspirations were defined by the contours of her parents’ expectations. Expressions of personal identity were boxed in. Her subtle minimalist sculptures express a personal story, feelings and emotions formed in childhood. Her work ‘Squares’ was shortlisted for ‘Fresh’ and exhibited in the British Ceramics Biennial, in 2019. Elizabeth graduated in June 2022 with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from The Royal College of Art in London, an institution ranked as number one in Arts and Design by the QS World University Ranking 2022. Her work Release was selected to be shown at Formed with Future Heritage, an important exhibition that will take place at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour In October 2022.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2021:
Release Series – 2022
Release Series – 2020
“Release“, 2021. Duration: 0’59”
Square Series – 2019
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from PUC – RJ. I followed a career in business and marketing working initially in finance and then in marketing of consumer goods, developing and launching new products for multinational companies.
When I turned 40, I moved with my family to New York and lived there for 10 years.
I started my experience with clay in Rio de Janeiro in 2000 and it quickly became a passion. From then on, I dedicated as much time as possible to ceramics, whilst always limited to short-term courses.
My determination to pursue my passion was made possible in London, where I moved to in 2013. Here, I was accepted to a two-year Ceramics Diploma program at City Lit, from which I graduated in July 2019.
I was drawn to clay because of its malleability. It is a medium that allows me to work instinctively and intuitively. Spontaneous gestures can easily mold wet clay into sculpture forms. I am fascinated by clay’s materiality, and its potential to be transformed into different states, textures, and colors to convey tension and conflict.
I specialize in hand building and slip casting. My love of form informs a search for visual balance and refinement that gives my work a natural fluidity that conveys movement and transformation.
I am drawn to the limits of edges and to how they can define a work’s meaning and aesthetic.
Since I began working with clay, I have chosen to work with porcelain and Parian clay, for their elegance, purity of color and natural sheen. I am committed to the quality of the finish, which can be seen through the smoothness of my surfaces and precision of my edges, both of which are polished and honed to perfection.
Elizabeth’s work speaks of self-acceptance. It confronts and questions expectations of perfection and the liberating emotions of embracing who we are and our limitations.
Release draws upon her childhood trauma and the internal dilemma of wanting to be herself, but needing to submit to her parents’ expectations.
Her sculptural ceramic forms express the conflict between conformity and independence, by suggesting internal pressures that reveal the tensions created between the desire to individuate and the need to comply with what is expected of you.
The work illustrates this transformation, the constant ebb and flow of relinquishing control and breaking from rigidity to allow a more fluid and flexible identity. In so doing, it discloses and embraces imperfections which would usually be hidden or discarded.
Pure white sculptures in Parian clay, distinguished by its satin sheen, reference notions of porcelain’s elegance and the confines of tradition it entails. By gently distorting a perfect geometrical shape Elizabeth transforms its rigid structure to allow an asymmetric aesthetic that conveys movement, fluidity, and change. This process culminates in a point of rupture – liberation – expressed by embracing the beauty of shattered edges and accentuating the stress cracks with fine silver.
Elements of rigidity harmoniously coexist with the sensuality of curves and signs of rupture, in a balance between conformity and liberation.
At the Royal College of Art, I have developed ‘Release’ (2020), in response to a project brief based on an 18th century rococo porcelain vase from the Victoria & Albert Museum. ‘Release’ (2020) is a contemporary interpretation of the rococo inspired by the qualities that define the style: an asymmetric ornamentation and the use of the curved “S” scroll form and the many lines of its signature motif, the acanthus leaf. This porcelain sculpture is a minimalist piece that contrasts with the elaborate ornamental rococo style, conveying a sense of personal identity. It’s movement and form express escape and freedom and makes room for me to be myself. Release (2020) represented the beginning of what became my graduate work, Release (2022).
Elizabeth was born in Brazil into an old-fashioned family of Polish and Egyptian decent. Her aspirations were defined by the contours of her parents’ expectations. Signs of individuality and expressions of personal identity were boxed in. The conflict between confinement and liberation shaped her life.
Squares draws upon this conflict by stretching the geometric limitations of the square. Hand-built porcelain sculptures transform the rigid properties of the square to bring out curvilinear possibilities that express movement and liberation. Through the intimate physicality of the making, she distorts, bends and twists the walls to create fluid, open-form sculptures, which erupt into a choreography of playful abstract forms.
Porcelain’s transformative qualities under the effect of heat and time introduce an element of chance that contributes to their smooth biomorphic aesthetic. Their pure colour and form, delineated by a delicate outline, bring out hints of minimalism. The fine and translucent properties of the material convey an element of apparent fragility, yet once touched, the porcelain reveals itself to be hard and unyielding.
Her work evokes a balance between control and freedom, between strength and fragility, between confinement and liberation.