Liz Collins is a New York City-based artist and designer, recognized internationally for her use of machine knitting to create ground-breaking clothing, textiles, performances and installations. She has exhibited widely, with solo shows at the Knoxville Museum of Art, AS220 in Providence, RI and Out North Gallery in Anchorage, AK and in group shows at the RISD Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design, amongst many others. Collins also runs her own eponymous fashion label and showed for many seasons during NY Fashion Week.
Collins’ practice is materially and process driven, focusing on the fabric she makes, manipulates, and embellishes. Motivated by the act and history of knitting itself (one richly intertwined with gender and labor), she takes inspiration from the internal and external architecture of the human body. For Collins, the emotional and physical experience of queerness provides a lens to explore this investigation. Although she draws viewers to her apparel designs and her performances with their apparent chaos, they are tightly structured and technically rigorous at the core, held together by carefully interrelated fixed elements.
In 2005, Collins began her ongoing site-specific installation/performance project KNITTING NATION as a response to working in the textiles and fashion industries. KNITTING NATION, which involves a small army of uniformed knitters and manually operated knitting machines, has been featured at venues including Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston, the Tang Museum, and MoMA. Collins was a United States Artist Target Fellow in Crafts and Traditional Arts (2006), a MacColl Johnson Fellow (2011), and is member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Modern Painters and Textile Forum.