Born in Montréal, Liz grew up in Toronto and attended The Ontario College of Art, where she graduated in sculpture. The next year she followed her family back to Québec and enrolled in a M.F.A. program at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia). Falling in love with a fellow artist, painter John Ballantyne, she moved to the townships, and has lived there ever since in a small town, in a small house with large studios and a large garden.
Needing to make a living, she created “one of a kind” clothing during the eighties, winning awards for color and innovation. This design work was to prove a wonderful training in color, texture, and shape, but by 1990 it was time to return to her first love sculpture. The works were at first playful and whimsical, changing gradually to deeper and darker themes. The Montreal Massacre of 1989 had a profound effect on Liz and by 1995 she was showing strongly feminists work “for Sophia... the female christ” and deepening that installation into a performance work “The Singing of the Stones”. Printmaking in all it various forms has been one of the threads in Liz’s work, silkscreen, photocopies, photos, poetry, drawing, books, the very paper itself used in an earlier series of translucent body castings, ”Through the Boundaries”, has now become a dominant voice. Wanting her images to move, video became an other tool as images moved, reformed, regrouped, froze and became something else, unforeseen or dimly suspected (“While I was asleep, Resurrection, Elegy... for the trees”). All this came together in her exhibition at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, called “The Sweetness of Truth the Body Reveals”.
Her work is not linear, not conceptual, rather it’s instinctive and internal in the romantic tradition. It has allowed her to bring together all the elements she loves most. It's a gathering, a collage, a wholeness, and at the same time a paring away, a letting go of the superfluous. In many ways Liz’s work is a metaphor for our lives, it’s about hope and despair and finding a home for each, it’s about being human enough, and open enough, and vulnerable enough and courageous enough to live with not just the light, but the shadow. In the end it’s about becoming fully human.
© liz davidson 2006-10 all rights reserved