I crave working in traditional disciplines like basketry and woodworking; this connects me with a sense of lineage while simultaneously I can use my materials to pose questions about value. Using foam plates, I employ their inherent worthlessness and disposability in order to symbolically cut away that identity and transform it. I use basketry to embed a new complicated value system through the use of foam plates. By using a technique that also references functional objects I allude to a domestic scenario but I firmly place it as an emotional reflection of my memories. Closing off my forms from usability further creates a connection to myself rather than to a functional object. My baskets become bodily and turn into a metaphorical layer of skin as I weave. I give my work the paradox of an idealized nostalgia of warmth and care. The transformation of both the walnut and foam plates materializes the themes of breaking and fixing; facades and reality.
Elizabeth Derstine’s is currently an Artist-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation. Her awards include: 2017 McKeown Grant for project funding, 2015 McKeown Grant for travel and research in Chicago, and the Best in Show for League for Innovation National Art Competition. She’s been exhibited in many group shows through the Kansas City Art Institute including being selected for the David T. Beals III Studios for Art and Technology Dedication and for the First Cut Exhibition at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery. Derstine collaborated with Robert Woodworth in an exhibition at the Leedy Voulkos Art Center. She has pieces in the permanent collection at the Johnson County Community College.