Elizabeth Poole
  home     galleries    curriculum vitae    news & text    contacts    mailing list    copyright   


The first groups of works have been mainly based on sticks found in the bush as a support to other ephemeral materials. Most of this collection has decomposed back into the earth.

A fascination with innovation and experimentation has inevitably led to using anything at hand. Metals, wire, recycled plastics, papers, feathers, paint, string - all have been used separately and in combination.

In most of the works I am trying to say something that I deem to be worthwhile.

These words [which help to keep me on track] were written by a young friend after he viewed my recent solo at the University of the Sunshine Coast: 

Elizabeth  Poole you are in my view, an elder of the Australian arts. An artist and sculptor of immense spirit, history and integrity, you bring your considerable intellect and extraordinary intuition to explore and depict the wonder and beauty of the natural world. We are reminded of so much we take for granted.  And…  contemplation brings further reward. You utilise this deep appreciation and reverence for life in order to highlight the exploitation of land, animals and the environment. For this reason your works hold a great, simple, inherent beauty and a gentle, clarion call, ‘Be more aware…’.





Ongoing experimentation with an array of basically ephemeral materials - many of them "found" and recycled being based on the concept that with a caring sense of place it is possible for built and natural environments to exist happily side by side, as a total environment.  Hopefully people will be attracted to the aesthetics of the work, then considering the content and message.  



The fascination with transient materials continues....                   


" FLOATING LAND 2013 - "BIRDiView"  

From the Floating Land Program:

" Elizabeth finds inspiration from the fragile and visually fragmented Australian bush.    This project is created around spiderwebs, which are constructed in such a way that they are visible to birds, preventing them from flying into the webs. Her project was inspired by a German glass company which has imitated the spider’s natural intelligence by superimposing a special UV reflective, linear pattern coated into the glass. This is only visible to birds, potentially saving millions of bird deaths from collision. Her work represents the visible and invisible aspect of our landscape. BIRD iView explores how humans continue to utilise nature’s intelligence and use sustainable technology based on this information."



In this group of works I am starting to experiment with metals, while still employing a framework of the beloved and unpredictable stick shapes.




In the UNIVERSITY OF THE SUNSHINE COAST 2012 SOLO EXHIBITION [pictured below] I enjoyed combining ephemeral materials with industrial and bush detritus.   

These pieces probably evolved out of working with architects and steel fabricators at Studio Steel, coupled with earlier years of old sheds and paddocks where interesting shapes in metal and wire are everyday experiences. 





Drawing and Painting and Collage with 3 Dimensional coloured metal shapes present all sorts of possibilities -                     


 WIRE COMMENTARIES - (speaking up for 'food' animals) 

Animals are our fellow creatures – inferior to us in several important ways – but also superior to us in others – for instance their sensitivity to their environment.  this recognition implicitly refutes the arrogance of speciesism, and the view that we have an absolute right to dispose of other species as we see fit, because our own is the most intellectually developed

I suggest we all ask ourselves :
– not ‘can they reason?’ 
- Nor, ‘can they talk?’ but
– ‘can they suffer?’
…….and then “is it really necessary?”




Clear heavy vinyl is a very beautiful material.  Reflections on its constantly moving surface mean that it lends itself to ostensibly ephemeral installations.  Creative Canvas from Coolum supplies me with their discards, therefore assuaging my environmental conscience.




The works on canvas are my response to living in the midst of cattle country for the past ten years, as well as the many & varied characters of the region. I am fascinated by my own immediate environment and the surrounding bony landscape.                                                                 




My best and favourite method of drawing is a Zen method, i.e. to become so engrossed in the subject that what is happening on the page is not observed until after the event. It is a process of un-learning.

In Frederick Franck's words:- from "The Zen of Seeing - seeing/drawing as meditation."  

"Seeing/Drawing is not a self-indulgence, a 'pleasant hobby', but a discipline of awareness" 



For some years I have been involved in my partner Gabriel Poole's architectural practice through colour schemes, interiors, even landscaping and furniture design.

 I enjoy the process of working together and seeing ideas manifest, often in ways that are light years ahead of my imagining. In some of the houses my art works have become a part of the whole.

Yee Hse 

SOULS AT PLAY - [Funny Families series]

This was a joint exhibition with my partner Gabriel Poole at Marks & Gardner Gallery.  

While he explored briefing and manifestation of living spaces specifically encompassing three generations in a linked complex, I referenced  family groups and structures in sculptural forms, while celebrating "Souls At Play."





Tim Bennetton Architects present Elizabeth Poole

In October 2014 Tim Bennetton and his staff enabled me to take over their office space in West End - the theme for the exhibition was basically the study of fellow humans in various environments, and urban and rural studies in both 2D and 3D forms.  

We had a wonderful opening night and great response generally. We plan a repeat performance in late 2018.




This solo exhibition was about communities and the environment of which these communities are an intrinsic part.

In my mind, "the environment" consists of far more than the natural.  It evolves from everything and all of us who contribute to its make up. 


gallery entrance


With this work the intention was to reflect the inherent ephemeral aspects, as well as the mystery and fragility of the natural environment - materials used were white cotton string [ spiderwebs - all made on site to fit the existing trees]  DVA mesh was used for the 100 handcut & molded silver birds strung onto wires.

sunset moonrise


Spicers Tamarind Sculpture Award Finalists 2015

Highly Commended by the judges.

".....and They Sailed Away For A Year and A Day" - powdercoated sheet metal & grid mesh with 180 small wire faces attached to the sails.   




"Weyba Revisited" - my commissioned entry in Floating Land 2015 consisted of an installed grouping of eleven barely formed figures or "Memories", on the water's edge of Lake Cootharaba.   The smoothed and sanded sticks and branches were painted stark white to simulate memories of past inhabitants.    

It was also my intention to lineally connect the figures to each other and subtly relate back to the landscape from whence they came.


deep purple



"BEINGS & BIOSPHERES"  [A solo exhibition by invitation]



Usually we tend to think of ‘the environment’ as the natural environment only.  Considering that we humans are inextricably here, with the domestic and ‘food’ animals, structures, and infrastructures that we deem necessary to function, we are  essentially part of the holistic nature of the environment, where each component has unavoidable repercussions on all the other elements. 

 This is the reasoning behind my choice of title for this exhibition  - “Beings and Biospheres,” - hopefully portraying multiplicity and interdependence


BRUCE WALKER - Opening Speech:

Having known Elizabeth and her art for twenty nine years it is a privilege to be opening this exhibition ‘Beings and Biospheres.’

Over the years I have witnessed Elizabeth’s art continuously evolving as her creativity and her sensitivity to the environment have led her into new materials and new concepts.

Her career commenced in the 60’s in formal training at the National Art School located in East Sydney. This provided her with the tools and grounding to develop both her style and compositional structure as well as her perceptions of the world around her. She often attributes this to one of her teachers: Godfrey Miller who instilled the notion of ‘a solid permanent under structure to free and fluid things’.

Elizabeth’s freedom and fluidity is a quality in her art that I have always admired. Her minimal free-flowing line work reminds me of the famous Bauhaus motto: Less is More. Yet is a discipline which she constantly works at. For example: drawing an image in continuous lines without looking at the paper.

Simplicity can fool people. It is not as easy as it seems and requires constant practice to maintain.  As Elizabeth once stated:in any art form it is knowing what to leave out that is finally the most important – and difficult!

Composition & relationship is probably still no.1 for me – the structure has to be there to build on – the gestalt – and whether it is the relationship of incongruities or of compatibilities, both are to me essential – to be too harmonious can feel a bit boring & safe so kicking something out of step can give it energy & more life.

You will observe in this exhibition that Elizabeth loves experimenting with materials – organic or industrial or mixing the two together to get that shift of soft and hard, ephemeral and lasting. She uses paper, wire, mesh, twigs and sticks to move between whimsy (such as her “cow grass” of tall wires with grass ears of cow heads) and the harder lessons of collective memory (her stick families which have become an iconic logo).

Living with an architect has certainly given her knowledge and access to industrial materials but her [often solitary childhood spent roaming a large cattle property]  [previous]  and the years spent living near Lake Weyba and her early morning canoe rides has given her an intense appreciation of beauty in natural forms and materials. Murdering Creek where a whole tribe of aborigines were rounded up and killed by the early settlers, gave Elizabeth an additional sensitivity to aboriginal spirituality and the oft times tragic intervention of modern man.

To quote Tamsin Kerr in a review of one of Elizabeth’s exhibitions: 

She moves from the seen to the unseen aspects of our landscapes, drawn to the spirit of a place as well as to the spirit of the humans and non-humans who inhabit it over past, present and future. She portrays environmental emotion more than just the physical scenery. Rather than simply creating objects, she portrays the lives and languages of the materials she uses.

So this is Elizabeth’s creative endeavour: to translate the language of nature, to take us on a voyage of connection with the natural world, and to act as creative researcher for that which lies outside and around our human limitations.




The Centre, Beaudesert.2017




@ COMMONWEALTH GAMES Athlete's Village  

Commissioned by  SWELL SCULPTURE

 This work responded directly to the surrounding local environment and drew upon the local wildflowers, in particular the cheerful Climbing Guinea Flower which inhabits the coastal regions of Eastern Australia. The enthusiasm of colour and curvilinear energy invites the public to immerse themselves in the incredible achievements and feats that unfolded during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. 



The Somerset Regional Gallery 2018 - "Sitting Quietly" - A Ten Year Survey and Celebration

Deirdre's Forest Wall


These years saw some ephemeral mobile commissions, the loss of my life partner Gabriel Poole, and an extensive survey exhibition at Noosa Regional Gallery to honour his life and architectural legacy.