Threads Through Time-Liz Koerner

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Floor, 2018
Douglas fir, handwoven wool, cotton, glass, colored gel, acrylic, brass
On loan from the Artist


Liz Koerner is an Iowa born sculptor and fiber artist. In 2009, she received a BFA from California College of Art, and a MFA in 2019 from San Diego State University. She received a two-year Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts in 2014, and in 2016 a one-year Fine Art/Craft Fellowship at Warren Wilson College. In the spring of 2020, she completed an Artist-in-residence at the Wood Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Little Rock.

Artist Statement

My recent works are based on the premise that the home is an extension of the body, and that we have subconscious physical and psychological connections to our built environment. Fixtures like sinks, bathtubs and heaters reference the body explicitly because they serve basic biological needs. They are often overlooked.  It is this invisibility combined with their familiarity and intimate nature that gives them power. I abstract these built-in fixtures to explore themes of time, memory, emotion, and entropy. The imagery that I reference is drawn from the homes of my family members.

In addition to built-in fixtures I am drawn to the unseen spaces of the home. Concealed subspaces under floors and inside walls are time capsules. Their exposure suggests bringing what is hidden or forgotten to light. We have a visceral understanding of these spaces as mysterious and filled with the unknown. I evoke them by stripping down architectural elements to skeletal wood frames.

Materiality is an important component of these works. Douglas fir is used in the frames to reference its actual use in the building trade. Objects that are typically made from metal or porcelain are carved from basswood, giving them warmth.  Handmade textiles represent time and labor condensed into fragile renderings of things that are usually durable, such as vinyl flooring. Textiles serve as a link between the body and architecture. As our most primitive bodily protection, we have an instinctual understanding of them as comforting. The softness of cloth echoes the fragility of our own bodies.

For more on Liz Koerner, visit her website: