Elizabeth Close Lights up the Seas

April 28th, 2023

2023 marks the Australian premiere of artworks by Aboriginal visual artist Elizabeth Close in Sea of Light.

Sea of Light is a participatory arts experience for children and their families. In the installation, participants create illuminating art on a large glow floor using UV torches, stencils, and model boats.

As participants explore Sea of Light, Elizabeth's artworks are painted in light across the sea floor. Elizabeth says, “My paintings speak to the connection between land and sea, the earth and waterways and are informed by the diversity of the Australian landscape. They also reflect the deep relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia have with Country.

Sea of Light, artwork by Elizabeth Close | Photo: Hannah Todd

Artistic Director Geoff Cobham says, "Elizabeth's artwork is a fantastic addition to Sea of Light. It has been incredible to watch Elizabeth's art come to life and see how children interact with her work. Children engage with the paintings in all kinds of interesting ways – chasing the moving light, tracing Elizabeth's work, or building upon the artwork with their own drawings."

Elizabeth's Sea of Light artworks have already been enjoyed by more than 10,000 children and their families, with attendees describing the installation as “magical” and “a truly beautiful sensory experience”. The installation is coming to Adelaide for DreamBIG Children's Festival in May before continuing its Australian tour.

Sea of Light, artwork by Elizabeth Close | Photo: Hannah Todd

Elizabeth Close | Photo: Renee Readett Creative

Elizabeth Close is a Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands in Central Australia. Now based in Adelaide, Elizabeth’s arts practice has evolved from canvas beginnings to now also include large-scale public art and digital design. Elizabeth’s work is a unique and distinct fusion of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal Art, using vivid warmth to convey the landscape of the APY while also drawing upon sociopolitical themes of identity, forced removal policies, loss of culture and intergenerational trauma. 

Sea of Light is touring Australia in 2023 – see details here.