Arts Lehigh Examines the Sculpture of Lizzy Waronker

by Benjamin Pawlowksi
Arts Lehigh

There is something magical about creating a relationship between multiple objects that were never originally intended to meet. Our preconceived idea about each gets shifted a bit and we are brought into something new. Lizzy Waronker is one part found object sculptor, one part installation artist, and one part story maker.

Her use of found objects often adds a specific kind of mood to her work. Everything feels gritty, like it has an intricate past to it. It doesn’t feel old, as much as it feels experienced. And it doesn’t feel dirty as much as it feels mistreated. They would all certainly be much different pieces if the individual pieces were taken straight out of their original package. There also seems to be some specific kinds of objects that she likes to work with. In multiple pieces I see body parts from dolls, birds, or more specifically, crows, small glass containers, and padlocks. With this I see a number of themes through her creations. I see a lot of isolation, separation, and bewilderment.

Lizzy Waronker (what a strange last name, I feel tongue tied just writing it) is certainly creating vast worlds on a small scale. She typically works no larger than a jewelry box but manages to create another existence, a universe where all of these strange objects have a reason to interact. For example, in her piece Incident at Box-Nail, I start to put together a whole story in my head to explain why these people have gathered together, why these giant body parts are on display, and what does the giant hand above them all symbolize.

And I say Lizzy is a story maker because many of her pieces seem to be about a specific event. She gives all of her pieces very well thought out titles that I feel are her way of giving us some sort of a hint as to what she might have been thinking about. For example, a title like Bus Station, instantly makes one think about a traditional bus station in our world, and then about how this new object might relate to that definition. Ms. Waronker is definitely asking more questions than answering.


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Ben Lee’s “Deeper Into Dream”

Singer-songwriter, Ben Lee, releases his ninth album this October 11, 2011 (Dangerbird Records).  “Deeper Into Dream” features original artwork made by Lizzy Waronker.  Heap 12 is featured on the front cover.  Additional heap sculptures can be seen on the back cover and inside the album sleeve.  These artworks were made specifically for the project, playing upon the juxtaposition of dream images and their deeper meaning.
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