Ethical and environmental concerns are central to Elizabeth Shaw’s practice. Her artwork investigates aspects of societal and cultural values and the meanings associated with objects of material culture. She exhibits regularly and has been the recipient of awards and grants. Her work is represented in public and private collections. She is active in initiating and facilitating environmental and ethically focused events to encourage exchange of ideas and participation in a sustainable community of practice. Shaw has served on the boards of state and national crafts organisations and is a member of the Advisory Council of Ethical Metalsmiths. She is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Jewellery and Small Objects department of Queensland College of Art Griffith University.
My work is informed by material culture theory, collaborative initiatives, cultural connections, ethical practice, and the role of the hand made object in society.
Jewellery and personal objects are enmeshed in society and my work contributes to contemporary discussions about re evaluation of cultural material priorities. I am interested in making use of discarded broken items, particularly ones destined for, or retrieved from landfill. I draw on an aesthetic of repair and value honesty in materials. I have both inherited and purchased the contents of other jewellers studios including lemel and part made projects. I draw on unidentifiable components of their works for re use in my own. The majority of my work is made from reused metal and what isn’t, is 100% recycled. My preference is reuse, thus minimising the energy in processing. I have a solar powered studio where I prioritise the use of hand tools over power tools.