Using organic fibers and traditional basket making techniques, Elizabeth Whyte Schulze creates three-dimensional paintings that are evocative of primitive art. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Tufts University, Whyte Schulze was the recipient of a Fellowship for Crafts from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2009.
"The basketry sculptures included in this show are informed by a recent exhibition at the Harvard Art Museum called EVERYWHEN, the Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia.
"My work has always been informed by my travels. From petroglyph sites in the American Southwest to Australia's Aboriginal Art Centers, each experience provides an opportunity to appreciate the art and culture of the country and its people. The show at Harvard reacquainted me with the art of the Indigenous Australians, both well known and contemporary artists.
"My basketry sculptures are made from pine needles and raffia coiled into sturdy, graceful shapes. To the completed basket surface I adhere a thin layer of Japanese rice paper that retains the woven texture of the basket underneath the paper. To this surface I apply and layer painted imagery of figure, design and text by intersecting and overlapping dots and marks. Inspired by petroglyphs and cave art, I like the marks to pulse and recede on the uneven basket surface. Each work is embellished with an added bit of woven fiber such as vegetable scrub brushes from India, Japanese calligraphy brushes of bamboo and horse hair as well as Chinese paint brushes for the home.
My approach to working on the basket is to present a complex landscape of imagery that is visually challenging and personally satisfying."
American Embassy, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Numerous private collections throughout the United States