bronze on steel base
32.5 x 102.5 x 55 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41191.1-2)
Gathie Falk's work is characterized by a close observation of everyday life and ordinary objects such as food, furniture, and clothing. While her sculptures often project a sense of whimsy and playfulness, much of Falk's visual vocabulary can also be understood as part of the "vanitas" genre - an extension of the still-life tradition that serves as a reminder of mortality and the passage of time.
In "Lizzie" the artist cast a woman's sweater and skirt first in papier mâché, then in bronze to create a portrait of Elizabeth Nichol, the founder of Vancouver's Equinox Gallery, who passed away in December 2000. By tracing the form of a female body, the clothing acts as a monument to a specific individual, while its emptiness highlights universal dichotomies of fragility and permanence, absence and presence, life and death.