Elizabeth Menzies with her project, 'But she didn't drown'.
Elizabeth Menzies with her project, 'But she didn't drown'. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Art turns inside out and looks at internal workings

VISUAL arts graduate Elizabeth Menzies's plans have been turned upside down since winning the 2012 Lismore Regional Gallery graduate award.

The gallery offers an exhibition to one graduating visual arts student from Southern Cross University every year.

The exhibition, which takes place in a year's time, offers the artist a rare opportunity to showcase their work in a professional gallery.

"It has really been a whirlwind since being selected," said Ms Menzies.

"It has changed my whole life plans for the next 12 months.

"This will give be something to base the start of my professional practice around.

"It's made me believe that perhaps I could do what I love for a living."

Ms Menzies's video performance work explores the link between the subconscious and consciousness, and the inversion of her private life to public.

"My art explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body and the possibilities of the mind," she said.

"The performances are based on my own personal internal psychology and psyche.

"I learn from the experience and reflect on these in the work."

Ms Menzies acknowledges that her artwork is direct and at times confronting.

"I'm working on themes to do with the porn industry, eating disorders, the social effects of media, concepts of the natural and dreams," she said.

"I certainly feel challenged physically and intellectually when making the work."

Originally from Orange, Ms Menzies moved to Lismore to attend university.

She began her course studying printmaking before become interested in performance poetry.

"I began combining soundscape with printmaking and then started incorporating my own body into the work," she said.

"I started out filming myself using my iPhone in whatever setting felt most comfortable.

"I try and capture the whole performance in the moment and keep the editing pretty basic to give the rawness some dignity."

Ms Menzies paid tribute to her lecturers Fiona Fell and Liz Stops.

"Fiona was really cool and let me explore and express my ideas," she said.

"She has so much energy and passion; it's great to have someone believing in you like that."

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