Liz Collins: Touching the Void

Garments, Installation, and Performance

Residents of the New York Tristate area need a little reprieve from the weather and what better way to get some creative warmth but to visit artist and designer Liz Collins hybrid knitted art and fashion installation, which opens to the public on February 15th at Manhattan’s Textile Art Center (TAC).

Collins is known globally for her use of machine knitting to create unique clothing, textile, performances and installations. In 2005, Collins kicked off her installation performance art with Knitting Nation—her perspective of working in the textile and fashion industries—which consisted of numerous uniformed knitters and manually operate knitting machines. The show examined how people interact with machines, global manufacturing, trade and labor, brand iconography, and fashion.

Touching the Void is part structural and part surreal, Collins turns the TAC into a knitted cave made from post-consumer garments and other textiles. The installation consists of innovative knit constructions that have been inspired by bodily protuberances, growths and sinkages. Both deconstructed and reconstructed “blob” shirts hang from inflated spheres; the walls are built up like a padded room with piles of knit fabric and large wall pieces. Collins investigates the “void” via her sculptural textile and garments by blending graphic and figurative knitting with washes of ink gradation.

This exhibit also marks Collins return to fashion. On display will be a varied collection of limited edition unisex sweaters made in Peru, which will be sold by the artist during the month-long installation and exhibit. The show features an interactive venue in which visitors with a panache for fashion and modeling can participate in a live lookbook shoot that will run during the duration of the opening.

The TAC space isn’t a new venue for Collins. Fifteen years ago she had her first collection of sweaters shown off on mannequins in Patricia Field’s store window, downstairs from TAC. “It’s amazing to full circle and present some of my favorite, and most wearable pieces on the same site; and finally be able to stage a a show where my art and clothing are co-existing in the space,” said Collins.

Visitors to the exhibit will be able to interact with garment and the knit sculptures, and will have the opportunity to see the details of the interrelated fixed elements.

Touching the Void opens on Friday, February 15th at the Textile Arts Center, 25 West 8th St, New York, NY. A reception will be held from 6pm until 8pm. The entire show runs through March 15th.

For more information about Liz Collins, visit www.lizcollins.com.

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