Elizabeth 'Giz' James

By Richard Birmingham

Giz James delivered a fascinating and insightful talk at Hawthorn Artists Society on May 18.

Her presentation showed us a range of work and ideas developed over many years of study and travel and included paintings, drawings and prints.

Giz is inspired most by the quirky moments in life and incidents that may be other worldly or out of the ordinary. One of her great mentors was Pam Hallandal who taught at Prahran Tech.

I first met Giz in Adelaide 9 years ago during the New York Studio School painting and drawing marathon. Her approach to drawing then as now exemplified a determination to get to the bottom of the issues, the how and the why of drawing.

Giz graduated from Victoria College Prahan Campus with a BA in drawing 25 years ago but that marked only the beginning of her artistic journey. Since then her practice has been continuous, and enriched through extensive travel, spanning many countries, places , people and cultures. Giz has followed her particular interest in contrasting Eastern and Western arts practice and philosophy.

From 1990 – 1992 Giz studied at the Academy of fine art in Hang Zhou in China then again from 2007 to 2009 she lived and studied in New York gaining an M.F.A in painting from the New York Studio School.

We see in Giz a seasoned traveller, a talented artist and an accomplished teacher whose work is represented in public and private collections across Australia including the National Gallery Canberra, and as far afield as New York, China, England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Japan and Hong Kong.

Giz has taught Chinese art, Life drawing, Portrait painting and drawing and has also conducted 3 day drawing workshops.

Her work shows us diverse influences, subtlety of touch in mark, combined with powerful image development across a range of mediums.

Her images, always evocative are forged through sustained and careful observation of life and an inventive engagement with process.

One of our best talks to date.