Liz Collins’ textile work encompasses large-scale sculptural commissions, two- and three-dimensional wall art, and performative installations, and often incorporates digital media, design and decorative arts. Her practice engages the public around themes of energy, emotions and relationships, and regularly includes programming for museums, public spaces, educational institutions and families.
Employing a range of natural to synthetic materials, incorporating vivid colors, dynamic patterns, and emphasizing textures and inventive structures, Collins enjoys pushing the limits and doing the unexpected across the spectrum of textile media. Her artworks surround the viewer in vibrating color fields to explore the boundaries between painting, fiber arts and installation. The cacophonic play of optics, texture, color and scale, recreates her wavering experience of the world as a place of stupendous wonder and cosmic energy.
‘Cave of Secrets,’ part of the 2017 New Museum show ‘Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon,’ is Collins’ largest exhibition installation project to date. 2017 also saw the commission of 'Inheritance,' a large textile-based sculpture evoking boat sails hanging above the dining area of the Little River Café, a glass-walled cube overlooking the East River.
Collins received a BFA (1991) and MFA (1999) in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design, and has been working across art, design, fashion, installation, and performance for two decades. She taught for ten years on the Textiles Faculty at RISD (2003-13), as well as at SAIC, MICA, Pratt, Parsons, and Moore College, and has been a visiting artist and critic.
She has had solo exhibitions at the Tang Museum at Skidmore, College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Heller Gallery, New York, NY; the Textile Arts Center, New York, NY; AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA; AS220, Providence, RI; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, NY; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI among others.
Collins’ awards include a USA Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and residencies at the Siena Art Institute, Haystack, Yaddo, AIR Alaska, and the Museum of Arts and Design. She is a Queer Art Mentor and serves on the board of the Fire Island Art Residency. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
WW3 (Warp Weft 3) is a new textile project by Liz Collins, Jeffrey Walkowiak, and Michael Sharkey, producing hand-woven floor coverings and architectural screens. The sculptural pieces are created using the rudimentary "pot holder" weaving technique on a large-scale loom with knit fabric yardage. The rugs’ tactile quality provides cushioned support, a massage-like experience, and is fitting for a variety of spaces. When rolled or folded the rugs easily double as seating, bolsters, or futon-like sleeping surfaces.
WW3 was inspired by Collins' long standing career as a multi-disciplinary textile artist who reimagines traditional textile techniques to create non-conventional art objects, interior textiles, and installations. She came together with Walkowiak, a visual artist professional and weaver, and Sharkey, a photographer and filmmaker, to combine their unique aesthetics in this visually stunning and playfully practical project.