Eliza-Jane Gilchrist

I work with cardboard to investigate our relationship with nature and to question what we value.

I look at the garden, a place of familiarity, and find the strange shapes and patterns within it. I like to discover remnants of growth; seeds, seedpods, roots. Tiny things that are easily overlooked. Elements of these forms I abstract, recombine and build at a different scale. The resulting sculptures combine architectural references, landscape features, and plant and insect elements that are familiar yet strange in these new configurations. These sculptures show the wonder of the microscopic or minute and draw attention to repetitive patterns and complex forms. 

I build these sculptures in cardboard because it is manufactured, it is easy to get hold of, not inherently beautiful, and is considered ‘rubbish’. Cardboard is what we turn trees into; it is dead organic matter. I imagine that it has a cellular memory of being a plant and wants to reform into these organic shapes: it remembers being a plant. 

I am fascinated by the transformation that occurs when turning a flat material into a 3D shape.
I draw onto the surface to transform it further, lavishing detail onto the bland, flat brown. These sculptures are memorials to plants that once were. 

In its role as packaging, cardboard is symbolic of the excessive consumption that is devastating the natural world. By re-packaging the packaging I suggest a re-appraisal of what has value. These sculptures rehabilitate ugliness. They invest the mundane and insignificant with significance and beauty – a reminder that wonders surround us if we take the time to look closely enough. 

41 Midland Highway Campbells Creek, Vic, 3451 Australia
t: 0437481230
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