Liz Murphy Thomas

Artist statement

My work deals primarily with issues of how we create, categorize and perceive identity. I examine the myriad ways we seek to understand and define the world around us. I am interested in the conceptual and constructed identities we build within our own culture as well as in other cultures. Our heuristic minds set out to taxonomically define the world we live in through infinitely evolving and multi-layered coded symbols. I analyze this process – my work explores how we create and assign meaning and at times questions seemingly objective classifications.

While we most often think of identities as relating to a concept of self or the perception of others, places and objects also have an identity. These metonymic elements are shaped by our culture – shaped by our wants and beliefs. I am fascinated with humanity's urge to look out into the world and strive for comprehension. This applies to places and objects as well as to other people.

I often approach the creative process in a way that is analogous to a scientific experiment. I don't always have an answer; I share my visual examination with the audience and ask them to assist in analyzing this collected data. In this way I seek to encourage deliberation and discourse as the viewer becomes a "scientist" exploring my hypothesis.

I intend my work to be accessible on many levels. While conceptually based, I consider a great many aspects as I create. The resulting works are inspired by humor, symbolism, cultural and theoretical reference as well as general aesthetic principles.