Opening Saturday 28 May: Elizabeth Willing – Forced Rhubarb


By Lauren Zoric

28 May – 18 June 2022

Forced Rhubarb is a new body of work from Elizabeth Willing, an installation of hand-printed and embroidered linens, accompanied by a floorwork made from sherbert-filled straws. Food is the catalyst Elizabeth Willing uses to reflect on the performance of eating, and facilitate multi-sensory experiences. 

Willing made a statement at the 2018 Melbourne Art Fair with the installation Strawberry Thief featuring a William Morris-inspired wallpaper print using native Brisbane ingredients, hand-carved wooden sculptures, the Anxiolytic cocktail performance and collages of fruit cakes accompanied by a bright pink carpet. Since then, Willing has since held solo exhibitions at University of Queensland Art MuseumCaloundra Regional GalleryKuiper Artspace Brisbane (all 2019) and Museum of Brisbane (2020). She was included in the group show Amuse Bouche: The Taste of Art at Tinguely Museum, Basel (2020). 

From October 2022 she will take up a four month Open Studio residency and exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

The linens present an inventory of symbols from Willing’s own performative and multi-sensory lexicon such as sedatives, yeasts, medicinal plants, and digestive processes. Implicated in the logic of hospitality, the compositions of the Linens speak of the labour embedded in needlework and the service of hosting. 

The floor installation Moviprep (pictured below) stretches across the gallery in huge loops, one continuous tube made from over one thousand individual sherbet filled straws. The sculpture hosts the colour inside its intestinal-like body, and it spills them too, creating an expressive platform, accompanied by an overwhelming aroma.

Read more in 20 Questions with Elizabeth Willing in Art Guide Australia (May/June 2022)


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