Liz Nielsen's work is a contemporary application of one of the best-known avant-garde photographic processes - the photogram - which was first mastered by Man Ray and Maholy-Nagy at the beginning of the twentieth century. Each unique image is created without a camera in the artist's studio using handmade negatives and 'found' light sources. She calls her work 'painting with light' referring to the performative nature of its creation.
A colourist at heart, Nielsen's works are deeply saturated, sometimes deceptively simple, compositions. Carefully planned and executed with skilled precision, nevertheless these works are subject to the unpredictable nature of the artist's chosen medium - light. 'The final outcomes are pre-planned with strong intention and formally composed,' Nielsen explains, 'but because I'm working with light, there are always some surprises. The light bleeds and spills and doesn't want to be contained.'
Nielsen's in-depth knowledge of the physics of light and colour theory are necessary to execute her unique analogue colour photograms. There is a mastery of skill, not only with the variation, depth of colour and texture she is able to achieve in her compositions, but also the intricacy of shapes, layers and precision within the work. Unlike traditional black and white photograms where a red light can be used in a darkroom, Nielsen must work in total darkness when creating these pieces. Even a hint of unintended light would expose the paper in unwanted ways, potentially jeopardising the final outcome. Nielsen has mastered both the light and the dark to execute her works, inspired by colourists of the art historical cannon, the laws of physics and the mystical nature of the cosmos.