Lizette Gilday 

We lost a beloved member of our artistic community with the passing of Liz Davidson from lung cancer last January. Liz grew up in Montreal and then moved to Toronto to complete a diploma in sculpture from the Ontario College of Art after which she returned home to study for a Master’s of Fine Art from Sir George Williams University. After a year of academic studies, Liz realized her calling was to be a practicing artist. She made the life-changing decision and moved to the townships where she had family roots.  In order to support herself as she launched her art career she worked as a waitress at The Thirsty Boot. One fine night a young artist by the name of John Ballantyne dropped by the Boot for a drink. Thus began a lifelong partnership between two talented artists who worked separately in adjoining studios at their home in Sutton Junction for 47 years. 

Early in her career Liz explored the world of fashion design. By the 1990s she was engaging with many forms of artistic expression from painting to drawing, video, photography, art books, performance and installation. She explored nature, colour, movement and mathematical concepts. She was a co-founder of Arts Sutton and Tours des Arts and exhibited her work in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia. We shall end with Liz’s own words: Like my life my work takes on many shapes and turns. It’s like a road that I wander down, and stop, and take a detour, rest a while, and start again. What seems to be my main concern is making meaning, bridging my inner and outer life, my dreams and consensual reality, the spaces between what we say or don’t say, our light, our shadow, reality. 

As a measure of the warm respect with which Liz is held by her fellow artists there are two exhibitions of her work presently being held in Sutton. What an homage to a remarkable woman who graced us with her joyful presence and leaves us with the rich legacy of her artistic expression. 

Arts Sutton September 9 to November 7: shows a broad cross section of the artist’s work