Elizabeth Close

Contact Artist






Abstract, Street Art, Other

About the Artist

Elizabeth Yanyi Close is an Anangu woman from the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language groups. She was born in Adelaide but calls the APY lands home. Her Grandmother was born in Ernabella but was forcibly removed from her family when she was 4, and eventually ended up in a home for Aboriginal children in Adelaide, though many of the records were destroyed. Because of this, Elizabeth's family lost much of their connection to family and culture, and for much of her Grandmother's adulthood, she was disconnected from her culture and was unable to pass cultural knowledge on to her children and grandchildren. Despite this, Elizabeth feels she got much of her creativity from her Grandmother, who taught her to paint and sew - some of the few memories she had from her own mother. Elizabeth grew up in remote communities across South Australia, but returned to Adelaide to complete her schooling, and went to University to complete a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing. After the birth of her second child, Elizabeth and her husband decided to move home to the APY so that they could immerse their children in their culture and language. Upon moving back to the APY, Elizabeth was finally able to reconnect with her Grandmothers family, learn her language and get the cultural education she desperately sought, and this was reflected in her artwork. Elizabeth started painting professionally in 2007 and her work has evolved considerably over this time. This evolution reflects Elizabeth's personal growth and her journey of discovery of her Aboriginality. Her work is a fusion of contemporary and traditional work, using vivid warmth to convey the landscape of the place she calls home. While living in the APY, Elizabeth was fortunate enough to work with artists at the world renowned Anangu art centre, Tjala Arts, where she learned from world famous artists. Elizabeth recently returned to Adelaide and has been creating large scale street works and has over 20 large scale murals across the Adelaide CBD. Elizabeth feels strongly about the importance of making art accessible through public art, and has channelled much of her current practice into public art in a number of mediums. Elizabeth is married to a Pirinpa (non-Indigenous) man and has three children, Isaiah, Emmeline and Bentji; and a dingo with no tail.