Elizabeth Russell Arnot – (Richardson) has been an artist in Tasmania for many years. In the early years of her career she was primarily a fine artist, specialising in finely detailed works of natural history. Awarded a Tasmanian Churchill Fellowship for her art in 1982, after which she moved to Melbourne, working as an art teacher, a professional artist and as an author and illustrator of 26 children’s books which are currently sold worldwide.
Elizabeth returned to Tasmania in 2004, completed a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art at the University of Tasmania, then completed a second Masters in Cross-Disciplinary Art and Design with the College of Fine Art at the University of New South Wales in 2013. Her work with environmental and natural history subjects, have led to her current work both painting and using repurposed materials to create sculptures that carry narrative, create awareness and make comment on environmental, social and political issues.
Elizabeth creates unique sculptures that address the issues of the Anthropocene, and carry narrative of the effect of man on the geology of the planet. Elizabeth’s sculptures use series to explore ideas. Her Anthroporium series looks at the idea of man’s belief in his own godlike nature. Although killing and erasing natural life forms, he considers that his “god like nature”, enables him to compensate by creating alternate life forms using genetic manipulation and technology. These pieces present an arrogant display of capture, kill and display using waste materials that result from this behaviour.
Elizabeth’s Aboriginality and adoptive status provide the passion and commitment to environment and social justice that comes through so strongly in all her work.