Davidson was born in Montreal in 1949. She attended the Ontario
College of Art in Toronto, and graduated with first class honours
in sculpture in 1971. By the time she graduated, she was already
a veteran of several shows, including a solo show at O.C.A., and
had given her first workshops in sculpture for the Etobicoke Board
to Montreal for an M.A. in Sculpture at Concordia University in
1972. However, after completing all the courses for the degree,
she became disenchanted with fine art as an academic discipline
and moved to the Eastern townships to become a practicing artist.
through the post-modern idiom, she began to experiment with fibre.
By 1984 she was showing her designs at the One of a Kind
Christmas show in Toronto and Ottawa, where she won several awards,
including the prestigious Loomis and Toles Award for Craftmanship
in 1987 and 1988 and Innovation in 1989. In 1991 and 1992 she began
to work in papier maché. She participated in three shows
in New Brunswick and a show at the Shayne Gallery in Montreal.
shooting of the 14 women students at Montreal's École Polytechnique
on December 6, 1989 made a deep impression on Liz and by 1993 the
change was evident in her work.It had become more personal and more
inclusive. She began to write poetry, to explore the feelings of
sorrow and powerlessness, the experience, she believed of many women.
In 1993 , she took part in a three-women show at Arts Sutton, Through
the Boundaries, in which she explored the armor that people wear
to protect and defend themselves. This was a theme she returned
to in shows in Atlanta, Georgia, and at shows at Bishop¹s University
Artists¹ Center, featuring mixed media (1995) and silkscreen
(1996). During this period, she also took part in the juried show
Les Femmeuses at Pratt and Whitney in Montreal (1992, 1993,
1994, 1996, 1997), showing collages and silkscreen works, forerunners
to her experiments with performance art. Two solo exhibitions in
1995 at the galerie port Maurice, in Montreal, In the Cave of
My Heart I Found, and at Galerie Horace, in Sherbrooke, For
Sophia...the Female Christ, continued this journey of exploration
into human frailty. In 1996 she took part in a group show in Cowansville
with two installations of gampi tissue sculptures/ mixed media.
has sung in church choirs since she was in elementary school, so
when she began to sing again in the Pot-Pourri Choir under the direction
of John Purdy, that music began to play a role in her interpretation
of the world around her. After Purdy¹s death, she wove together
the poems she had written as The Road and music, and, with
a small group of women colleagues from the choir, under the direction
of Susan Reininger, produced a performance work with music, video,
tableau vivant, poetry sculptures and installation. It was written
to commemorate the young women murdered in the Montreal massacre.
The name of this piece, The Singing of the Stones, comes
from a Jewish tradition of placing small stones near a tombstone,
which gave the ritual musical its name.
In 1997, in
a show called Longing for meaning at the Galerie McClure
in Montreal, 1998 and in 1999 at the Musée de Beaux Arts
in Sherbrooke, she explored the emotional seat of pain in the human
body through sculptures made of cast gampi tissue and collages.
These luminous mouldings, intensely personal, reminiscent of funeral
draperies or castings from a metamorphosis, evoked strong emotional
reactions from many viewers. The shows also included college paintings,
mixed media, and object trouvés in boxes.
Since then she
has employed a variety of media in her work. After experimenting
with bringing all these diverse elements together in The Singing
of the Stones, she began working with video editing, incorporating
music, sculpture and poetry. She is now exploring graphic design
and also designing websites.
Like my life , my work takes on many shapes and turns. Itıs 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 donıt say, our light, our shadow.
To do this I use words, sound, sculpture, video, collage, silkscreen,
computer - whatever, to help visually show our many layers of reality.