Through the subtle modification and manipulation of materials, found objects and surfaces, Lizzie Cannon creates work that reflects upon the human desire to continually re-shape and re-define nature.

Cannon is influenced by her journeys within the margins of the city. Interested in the things that are discarded or overlooked and are in some way being reclaimed by organic processes, she collects corroded lengths of abandoned plumbing, rusted debris washed up by the river or fragments of tarmac that have been pushed up by tree roots.

Cannon responds to the fabric of these environments. Working with disparate combinations of materials, she plays with the relationship between soft and hard, organic and industrial, discarded and embellished. In Barriedale (2012), embroidery colonizes cracks within a reassembled section of pavement, creating a subtle transition between this mundane urban surface and delicate stitching. In the series ‘Mimesis’, drawing is used as a process of evolution, as cell like structures mutate form the found textures of the tarmac and occupy blank areas of the rubbing left by cracks and crevices within the pavement. The pavement is seen as an interface at which biological growth interacts with the human desire to keep nature at bay.

Cannon uses laborious techniques such as hand embroidery to reflect upon the gradual decay or degradation of found objects. In ‘Corrosion: study with beads’ (2013 and 2014), the gradual build up of rust and mud on objects washed up by the river is mimicked by laboriously stitching on tiny beads. Through a process akin to alchemy, holes eroded over time begin to be filled. In the series of mended leaves, holes are carefully darned with thread selected in an attempt to make the mends invisible. Paradoxically, the process of ‘mending’ the leaves accelerates their degradation through repeated piercing with the needle and once the leaf has been preserved, the colour fades making the darned areas blemishes on the leaf’s surface.

In Untitled 1 & 2 (2014), vascular structures appear to have morphed from or fused with sections of old rusty piping. A gradual evolution from the cold hard qualities of the iron pipes to the fleshy folds of porcelain, suggests a process of transmutation between the biological and man-made. Drawing on Kristeva’s notion of the abject as ‘what does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite’ (Kristeva, 1982), these hybrid objects sit uncomfortably between the familiar and unknown, the organic and a carefully crafted object.


Made in Bow, Nunnery Gallery, London

Graphite, GV Art, London
Dangerous Curves Ahead: Bow Arts Open Show, Bermondsey Project, London
Topographic Translation: Iteration 2, Utrophia, London

Q-Arts Annual Exhibition, APT, Deptford
Topographic Translation, The Diving School, Bristol
Into the Wild, Long White Cloud Gallery, London
Persona Art Festival, The Rag Factory, London

The Freaks Exhibition, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
Traverse Tourist, Tenderproduct, London
The Truth is Rarely Pure and Never Simple, Nolia's Gallery, London
Kinetica Art Fair, showing with Tenderpixel

Alchemy, Deptford X, London
Hogarth Brown & Lizzie Cannon, Tenderpixel, London
Behind the Scenes Event, Horniman Museum, London
The Tree House Gallery, Regents Park, London
Tales of the Electric Forest, Saint Pancras Crypt, London
999 Requiem to a bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, London
Art of the Stitch, touring to Alexandra Palace,
London; Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate; Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Autumn Salon, Islington Arts Factory, London
Effuse, Deptford Town Hall, London
Art of the Stitch, touring to The Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld; Birmingham
Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham
Down to Earth, Hay Gallery, Colchester
Jerwood Drawing 2007, touring to Royal West of England Academy, Bristol;
BayArt, Cardiff; Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

Down to Earth, Oxford House, London
Outskirts, Brighton Festival, Brighton
Life Cycles, The Crypt, Saint Pancras crypt, London
Mail Art (a collaboration between Wupadoopa and Engine Chatchat)
First of Four: Orbis Opifex, The Foundry, London
Jerwood Drawing 2007, touring to Jerwood Space, London; Pitville Gallery,
Cheltenham; Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow

Textile Collective, Truman Brewery, London
Goldsmiths Textiles 2006, Goldsmiths College, London

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Brockwell Park, London

Prizes and awards

Jerwood Makers 2014 - shortlist
Art of the Stitch 2009 - shortlist
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007 - shortlist