Liz Collins’s Knitting Nation

Liz Collins Studio Visit
Photographer: Vincent Dilio

Fashion designer-turned-artist Liz Collins is best known for her immersive knitting performance pieces. And they just keep getting bigger and better. Her upcoming solo show at Heller Gallery highlights these large-scale textile works and her new collaborative series with the industrial designer Harry Allen. Here, Collins offers a preview of the show and a tour of her Brooklyn studio. Liz Collins: Having It All is open until December 20th at Heller Gallery, 303 10th Avenue, New York, 212.414.4014.

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

Liz Collins in her Brooklyn studio.

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“If I don’t know what I’ll do if see one more article that’s headline reads “It’s Not Your Grandma’s Knitting Anymore” or another conversation about knitting being fresh and new. We are past that. I like to think that now I am at a new forefront, where industrial textile equipment is being utilized as a medium in order to expand upon what already has been done. ”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“Two years ago, I was picked by this established interior fabric company called Pollack to be one of five artists invited to design a fabric. It was kind of a sky-is-the-limit situation. The motif I designed for them became the genesis of this show.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“I call this motif Cave. It’s a name that is rooted in all kind of imagery—from vagina dentata to the mysterious cracks in the seafloor…”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“They made a mistake—this was suppose to have orange in it. But now it looks like a whale and I love that. I think I use color as a device for associative reasons.”


“Color is something deeply intuitive. I have colors that I default to because of their power. Pink is something I’ve had to kind of exercise out of my body.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“I think it was in my genes. I was just compelled to make things from an early age. As soon as I could I was doing art.“


“I had piles and piles of knit fabric from all these different Knitting Nation performance pieces I did. And now, I am finally ready to turn it into something else and that’s where this project with Harry stemmed from.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“First it was one chair, but then we decided to make it two. Harry and I come from such different worlds, but that’s what makes it work. It’s a push pull.”


“I think it’s human nature is to want to touch something that has a certain quality. I don’t want people to touch these pieces, but I know they will. I mean I’ve been person before…”


“The work follows the space. My dream now is to have a space with really big walls. Like I had a dream this summer that I had a three-story studio with this big ladder. I like the magnitude of that kind of large-scale work.”