We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Returning C



Liz Coats

Australia, New Zealand

16 May 1946 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    glass enamels on clear float glass (5mm) box construction
    20.0 x 100.7 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated verso, "Liz Coats ... 1996 ...".

    Purchased 1997
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Liz Coats

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Liz Coats

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Colour relations as we experience and know them in the light of our surroundings are the generative resource for all my experiments with chromatic density and spatial rhythm in abstract painting.

    Glass pigments in Returning G, were progressively kiln-fired on clear glass panels for varieties of surface absorption and reflection, with selective sandblasting, so that light becomes a binding compositional element.

    I had no idea that experimenting with painting on glass would lead to a rethink and return to the origins of my work with colour imagery. I am acknowledging that sometimes great distances exist between ‘seeing’ and ‘doing’, the encircling of which leads to renewal.

    Standing on a clifftop above deep water, with questions around meaning in glasswork on my mind, I felt compelled to make the following notes:

    ‘There is a way of looking with a broad gaze that might glimpse meetings in this perpetual flow. A ‘seeing’ with steady nerve and grounded, I am with these patterns in motion. It goes without saying that ‘seeing’ is a participatory event …

    I have realised again, why colour is so important for my work. Colours flavour and illumine open space, calling attention to both distance and nearness. As an alternative descriptor to language, colours signal disturbances too: lines, cracks, waves and bubbles form traces. Like a wind that riffles or cuts, these agitations have repetition. Repetition implies an oscillating force; a circulatory turn and return.’

    Liz Coats, 2022

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Author Unknown, Liz Coats Glassworks, 'Plates', pg. 21-93, 1997, 68-69 (colour illus.). plate no. 36

Other works by Liz Coats

See all 7 works