Australian Artist Liz Gray has explored a deep connection with nature for her series of copper art.
Married to a geologist and inspired by the mining communities that she has lived in, copper was an instinctive material to explore. The smooth, glossy surface is perfectly suited to her favourite medium of oil paint.
“It creates a beautiful iridescence […] It’s so easy to paint on copper and I’ve developed a real love for it” she explains.
Her passion is obvious in this stunning contemporary copper art work.
How Does Liz Gray Explore Light, Line And Lustre In Copper Art?
Liz Gray’s art creates an immersive world that celebrates nature and goddess-like women. Her joyful work uses a bright colour palette and expressive texture to share the beauty that she finds in the world around her.
In exploring the use of copper to make her wall art, Liz has unearthed a passion for the medium and she has developed a highly innovative approach.
This unique collection combines sculpture, jewellery and painting in stylish decorative pieces that celebrate the rich natural luminescence of copper. Boldly designed copper cut-outs combine engraving and oil paint.
The hard edges of her copper cut-outs give a beautiful contrast to her soft and expressive brush strokes, and the crisp lines of engraved texts add a fantastic texture. The gloss of the oil paint complements the lustre of the copper. The wall art almost glows.
The Magic Of Metal Art – Why Choose To Design In Copper?
By moving her practice into metal, Liz Gray has moved her two-dimensional wall art into the realm of object d’art.
While the copper art work has many similarities to her paintings on canvas (and are also wall-mounted) the structural quality of the metal takes the design to a whole new level.
The pieces are cut by a water jet cutter which offers a high level of precision and detail capable of capturing Liz’s lively compositions.
The works are displayed against a mount box or simply hung a few centimetres away from the wall to incorporate shadows cast from natural light or spotlights, adding to the sensory experience.
By choosing to make metal art and embracing the qualities of the medium, these pieces take on an almost alchemical quality.
The Tradition Of Copper Art Work – From The Renaissance To Contemporary Art
In exploring the use of copper in her practice, Liz Gray follows in the footsteps of centuries of artists.
The metal gained popularity in the Renaissance, as the artists experimented with its smooth and glossy surface. This offered huge benefits – it was easier to paint on than rough wood panels, and had a better lifespan as the surface was difficult to damage and didn’t degrade. But it wasn’t just the practical benefits that the artists were drawn to, they too were captivated by the metal’s lustre.
“The explosive growth of the practice [in the Renaissance] was due to the discovery of the dazzling visual effects that could be achieved on this new support (copper), whether portraiture, landscape or religious subjects,” explained Curator Michael Komanecky, Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Masterpiece Painting on Copper, 1575-1775, The Phoenix Art Museum.
It is no surprise that this natural material remains popular in contemporary art. Copper speaks of tradition while allowing cutting edge design. It is a long-lasting, high-quality art material and is ideal for a cherished investment piece. Copper art feels luscious and luxurious – it has a really attractive warmth. Combined with Liz Gray’s joyous paintings and thoughtful design this copper wall art is irresistible.