Previous Exhibition

Elizabeth Willing —
With the Table in Mind

Jun 9 – Jun 24, 2016

About the Artist      

An artist, baker, architect, choreographer, dinner host, scientist, designer, child playing with their food — these are all descriptions that seem applicable to Elizabeth Willing in her ongoing examination of gastronomy, the rituals of consumption and the aesthetic qualities of food. At once methodical and whimsical in her manipulation of the structural possibilities and limitations of food, Willing entices her audience, or dinner guests, to engage in a range of sensual experiences that often prioritise touch, taste, and smell over vision.

Since 2013, Willing’s practice has included a series of dessert degustations to which she invites selected guests to share in a range of multisensory experiments or "courses". These courses deconstruct and expand both the physical materiality and architecture of Willing’s chosen ingredients as well as the customs, expectations, and often anxieties of eating in shared contexts.

A significant aspect of the Dessert series are Willing’s dinnerware and utensils, specifically designed to heighten the eater's sensorial and emotional responses. Willing’s Mouth Cups, spherical drinking vessels with lip-shaped openings, require the drinker to negotiate a complex movement of kissing, sucking, and slurping to access the sake cocktail contained. Tipping Plate, designed to hold petits fours arranged to achieve balance, playfully visualises the concern one may experience when engaging in the custom of sharing — questioning if one is eating too much or too quickly as the plate starts to tip back and forth. It is these objects that are the focus of With the Table in Mind. Removed from their original functional context, the exhibition allows for these objects to be considered for their own sculptural qualities, revealing Willing’s refined, delicate, and humorous design sensibility.

About the Artist

Elizabeth Willing

Elizabeth Willing is a Brisbane based visual artist. In 2009 she completed her honours in Fine Arts (Visual Arts) at Queensland University of Technology. 

Elizabeth has undertaken professional development work experience in New York with Janine Antoni (2011), with the Experimental Food Society in London (2012) and then with Thomas Rentmeister in Berlin (2014). 

In 2012 Elizabeth was the Artist in Residence at Metro Arts Brisbane. The Australia Council granted Elizabeth the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien one-year residency in Berlin 2014, and in July 2015 Elizabeth undertakook a 7-week residency at HIAP, Helsinki.

Elizabeth has been awarded funding to pursue new work and professional development opportunities, these include an Australia Council Artstart grant (2012), an Australia Council project grant (2016), the Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship (2013), a JUMP mentoring Scholarship (2010), and the Melville Haysom Scholarship through QAGOMA (2010). Her work has been commissioned for Museum of Brisbane public art projects including Platform and Hutton Lane Lightboxes. 

Elizabeth’s work has been written about in magazines Eyeline, Antipasto, Art Almanac, Appetite, Imprint and online forums Art Fridge, Vice, Raven Contemporary and Critical Mass. She was also notably included in recent publications the Oxford companion to Food, and Experimental Eating.

About the Curator

Rachael Parsons

Rachael Parsons is a curator and academic within the Creative industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Honours (Visual Arts) in 2006 as well as her Masters of Research in 2011 from QUT. Rachael’s masters research explored new curatorial methodologies for the exhibition of digital and new media art practices. She has exhibited her own work both in Brisbane and internationally and has worked as an independent freelance curator focusing on digital media and experimental art exhibitions running programs such as minute gallery and the Backdoor Gallery.

In 2011 Rachael joined the curatorial team at QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct as the Exhibitions Officer and curator, facilitating their new media exhibition program. In 2012 Rachael joined Brisbane-based artist-run initiative Vegas Spray as a Co-Director to facilitate a range of programs and platforms that support and promote cultural ecology of Brisbane including BNE Art and the Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival.