THOMSON, Elizabeth; Triggerfish
Leading New Zealand printmaker Elizabeth Thomson was born in Auckland in 1955. She studied printmaking at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 1988. Thomson has participated in solo and group exhibitions, particularly in New Zealand, and since graduating has taught at various institutions while continuing her own art practice.
Thomson has developed a surrealist world through large photo-etchings that have an ambiguous, metaphorical quality, not devoid of humour. She concentrates on archaic landforms and aspects of the animal kingdom. In this respect, Max Ernst has provided inspiration. Bridget Sutherland has written:
'Elizabeth Thomson's world of gigantic stick-insects, fish and subterranean moths could only be found in a city's darkest corners, those forgotten and decaying warehouses or underground caverns and drains. These animals are creatures of dream, clinging to the walls, to the dark: they are haunting monuments to the presence of nature. Yet this is a nature - a darkness - that also has an existence for Thomson outside of a city context - one to be found in the border forests of the Waitakere ranges and the vast solitude of the West Coast beaches. Utopian in a sense, these imaginative and often surreal reflections on the animal kingdom speak about a world from which none of us should be excluded.'(1)
1. Sutherland, Bridget. 'The Fearless Five Hundred: the world of Elizabeth Thomson', Art in New Zealand, no.57, Summer 1990-91, pp.54-7.