Liz Pead creates artwork from almost anything she can get her hands on; wool, thread, ink, paint, even recycled hockey gear. An accomplished textile artist and hockey player, Pead’s material explorations are a reflection on memory, history, and location. Exploring Landscapes, is a collection of Pead’s work including her stitched landscapes, ink sketches, hand woven wool blankets, as well as her hockey art.
This exhibition speaks to the varied processes and materiality found in Pead’s work. Her ink sketches act as a starting point for the artist to expand upon later in the studio. Pead’s handwoven blankets are a testament to her exquisite mastery as a textile artist. In her stitched landscapes, fleeting moments of time spent in nature are rendered in thread to describe land, trees, and sky. Directing the thread across a woven metal substrate is oddly reminiscent of nature; fierce and powerful, elusive and reflective. The layering of thread mimics that of a forest canopy. Pead’s hockey works are particularly eye-catching. She creates these works by collecting and tearing up recycled hockey gear. Cutting and stapling sticks, elbow pads, socks, and jerseys, Pead collages the materials to create wildly colourful, rugged Canadian landscapes. It is hard not to become delightfully engrossed in the materials, imagery, and all of the detail found in Pead’s work.
Pead grew up in New Brunswick and lived by the sea, painting, drawing, weaving, and working in galleries. She studied Fabric Surface Design (1993) and Textiles (1995) at the New Brunswick College of Draft and Design. In 2005, she established Liz Pead Studio in Toronto and in 2007, graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) with Distinction Honours in Drawing and Painting, winning the Medal. Pead has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2016, Pead attended workshops in Weaving Copper Wire with Sayward Johnson in Ottawa, and Advanced Machine Knitting Techniques with Ursula Rautenbach at Heriot Watt University, Scottish School of Textiles; Galashiels, Scottish Borders. In 2017, she received the Mary Diamond Butts Award from Craft Ontario recognizing Excellence in Embroidery. She has travelled to Germany, Austria, and Denmark to research textile history and techniques in various institutions.
Most recently, Pead’s work was part of the exhibition, Power Play: Hockey in Canadian Contemporary Art, which was on view at the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) from February 9 – May 12, 2019. To learn more about this exhibition, visit the AGW website: agw.ca