Eliza Au

Artist Statement

The designs I create have a close relationship to historical ornament, particularly to the pattern motif of the arabesque. I am interested in how this motif draws a parallel between historical Islamic patterns and the contemporary wireframe structure in CAD. The underlying structure of the polar and square grid serves as a framework to create my patterns. Working with the wireframe structure in clay, structure and ornament become inseparable. Flirting with ideas of impossibility by pushing the clay to become planar sheets that are thin, sinuous and perforated, I am able to build structures that reference fluidity and contemporary architecture. The use of the undulating line to define structure and space reflect a larger culture who equates this aesthetic as a metaphor for progress and the future. A meditative rhythm is seen through the repetition of the arabesque in the pattern design and the repetition of the two-dimensional planes. A sense of lightness and effortlessness is created by the regularity of the perforated planes; the objects created seem to be divorced from mass and form as negative space defines the work as much as positive space.

-- Eliza Au


Eliza Au is originally from Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. She received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Artist residencies she has attended include Greenwich House Pottery (NYC, NY), The Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), and the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY). She has taught in Canada and the United States at various institutions including the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the Alberta College of Art and Design, Monmouth College and The University of Iowa. Previously she has had solo exhibitions at the Ottawa School of Art, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and at the Northern Arizona University Art Museum. She is currently a full time faculty member in the Alfred-CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts) Program in Beijing, China.