By Matt Valerio
I recently happened upon some impressive local art via a friend’s Instagram feed. It’s safe to say, I spend a lot of time browsing Instagram with the sole purpose of discovering great art by artists with whom I’m not already familiar. For me, it’s the thrill of the hunt, and I love it when I find something that draws me in immediately.
In this case, the art that caught my eye was a photo of a couple of ceramic sculptures. These sculptures had a bit of a darkness to them. Not too dark, but just enough to pique my interest. Kind of reminiscent of some of the work I’ve seen in director David Lynch’s art installations. They had muted, almost dirty colors to them, and depicted what looked like children in bunny ears and/or bunny suits, but instead of looking playful, as you might expect, they were mostly expressionless, almost melancholy. They had phrases inscribed in them as well, like “Nothing special” and “No arms to hold you”. I had to know more about who made these fascinating pieces and, if possible, what they were all about.
As it turned out, they were done by Elizabeth Scott, a student at CSULB, who has been working with ceramics for the past 6 years. Due to the huge learning curve and unpredictability involved in working with clay, Elizabeth did not truly find her footing until 4 years ago. It was through enrolling in some ceramics classes that she had an epiphany and realized ceramics gave her the sense of autonomy and agency that she hadn’t felt up until that point. Elizabeth says this experience fed her spirit, and she was drawn to the physicality in response to touch inherent in ceramics.
The bunny motif was heavily influenced by Elizabeth’s own “insecurities, fears, and in a nuanced way, some hope.” She said, “They kind of encapsulate the paradox of wanting to be seen and wanting to not be seen and the excruciating associative feelings of loneliness that come with that.” With that statement, she made the pieces that much more powerful to me, as she shed a bit of light on why some of these characters looked so melancholy.
Back in May of this year, Elizabeth had a week-long showing of her work on the CSULB campus. While I unfortunately missed it, the show turned out to be a great way for Elizabeth to get this batch of creations in front of an audience so she could not only process and digest the work herself, but also get some feedback from both mentors and peers.
As of now, there are no signs of Elizabeth slowing down, as she seems quite prolific and is definitely a local artist to watch. I’m excited to see what’s next. You can see more of her work via Elizabeth’s Instagram at instagram.com/cone_beautiful.