Elizabeth Whyte Schulze

"My work is informed primarily by my travels. Visiting petroglyph sites in the American Southwest to Aboriginal Art Centers in Australia’s outback, each adventure is an opportunity to experience art and culture of diverse communities. I layer images by intersecting and overlapping figure, design and text on the woven surface. I do not retire past images but continue to incorporate the older elements in innovative ways. My approach to working on the basket is to present a complex landscape of imagery that is visually challenging and personally satisfying.

I construct the basket first, then use paint, handmade paper and gel medium to draw and mark the surface. My medium is pine needles and raffia sewn and coiled into bowls, plates, vessels and sculptures. For many years, I used thread to stitch designs on baskets but in 1996 I was given a rare opportunity to visit France’s Lascaux cave. Inside the cave, Paleolithic bulls and horses painted on rugged cave walls appeared to come alive. This experience inspired me to begin experimentation with acrylic paint and develop a similar magic on baskets. Over the years I have managed to retain the integrity of a traditional coiled basket while exploring contemporary themes in my artistic expression."