Lisa Young’s eclectic practice spans sculpture, installation, drawing and painting, and derives from her interest in the decorative arts, architecture and interior display. For over two decades, hybrid domestic rooms and sculptural forms that reference interiors and furniture have featured in her work. Recently, this interest has manifest in an ongoing project ‘Host Thing’ thorough which she seeks to reveal an architectural vernacular that is at once familiar yet strange; an exploration of collective and unconscious histories. These projects, which emerge out of specific social/political/economic contexts and sites, devolve into a more imaginative realm, with sculptural forms creating a visual conversation between both the architectures and the cultural aspirations of the spaces in which they are sited. Other bodies of work include finely detailed architecturally-derived drawings, broadly abstracted mark making gestures and, most recently, an ongoing series of embroidered works—all of which accumulate towards a distinct personal vocabulary of image making tropes.
The inspiration for Young's work is sourced from a number of traditions, from lithography to Inuit drawing to the psychotropic art of the 1960s and, like a cluttered wardrobe, everything is kept. Young’s installation techniques continue her interest in collisional aesthetics, display and presentation; for example by utilising sculptural interpretations of a space via the classic ‘salon’ or Petersburg hang.
In Young’s composite wall of doors, the gallery is linked with many other worlds that lie beyond; not just the back garden although you can see this world too. The simple everyday act of opening a cupboard door, or sliding open a drawer, reveals much more than we normally find in a cupboard. Indeed, here in such profusion, we’re reminded that most cupboards and doors eventually open onto the backs of our own minds, which is exactly where we’ve stored the really significant things for most of our lives.
Stuart Koop, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, February 2000.