Her earliest memories are of sitting at her mothers feet watching as she painted.
"Our little flat always smelled of oil paint and turpentine. I loved it, and watching my Mother paint was my greatest joy"
Elizabeth paints in two main styles, Surrealist and Naive.At the age of 6 I fell immediately in love with the work of Salvador Dali when I saw his Painting "Santiago el Grande". I sat before the painting for hours at a time, mesmerised by the rearing horse, by the light, by the angels. It was a pivotal experience in my life, and at that time, I decided that one day I would be a painter.
At the age of eight My Mother handed me oils and brushes said "Paint!". I did and I have never stopped.
While I will still paint Dalinian subjects (his Camembert clocks, soft keys etc.) for my Homage to Dali exhibitions, my work goes beyond this. I am predominantly a Surrealist, but my style is softer, thoughtful and sometimes carries insights into my observations of life, and occasionally into my outrage at social injustice. My work over the years has covered the full gamut of emotions.
After a serious shoulder injury some years ago, I found I was unable to do the highly detailed surrealist work that I was known for. For several years I could not paint at all. Then slowly and painstakingly I worked my way back. I began to take a look at Ned Kelly. I developed "Nervous Ned", a cartoony outlaw who gallops through naive Australian Landscapes at breakneck speed. Encountering as he goes creatures from my imagination, The Boab Spirits , A Shy Bunyip, Red Gum Spirits, The Banksia People, Drop Bears, dull wombats and cheeky echidnas etc.. Nervous Ned's popularity has grown over the years, and they sell as quickly as I can paint them.
"The Boab Spirits", are mythical creatures which inhabit the sacred boab trees. These came from my imagination and have proved to be very popular. So once again I cannot resist bringing in a surreal element.
I honestly do not know where this melding of the naive and the surreal is going to end, but the journey so far has been quite entertaining. My special love though has been reserved for the pure surrealist image.
So it's been a challenge in several ways to get back into the fine surrealist work. Apart from physical limitations, I've also had to keep up with the Nervous Neds in order to earn my living day to day. Even so, I've committed myself to producing surrealist works of a high standard. The reviews I have received for the new work have been very pleasing.
I look forward to sharing my Surrealist work with you, as well as work containing that wicked rascal Nervous Ned.
Elizabeth has exhibited around the world including Paris and New York. Here are some comments on her work:
|"Elizabeth Holian is tipped to become one of the country's leading surrealist painters"|
|Kerry O'Brien 7.30 report ABC National Television|
|"Elizabeth Holian is about to turn the art world upside down"|
|Frances Whiting, The Sunday mail|
|"Elizabeth Holian's paintings reveal a fertile mind combined with remarkable technical skill"|
|Dr. Desmond Morris, Oxford, UK , Author of The Naked Ape, Artist and Contemporary of Miro|
|"I believe many of Elizabeth’s works exhibit a true genius. Elizabeth is equally at home with photo realism, surrealism or her own naïve surrealist style"|
|Arthur Frame OAM, Chairman and Artistic Director Q.A.C.|
Elizabeth received an Australia Day Award in 1999 for achievements in the arts. Elizabeth's unique style is definitely surrealist, but has a softer edge to it. Many incorporate Australian Animals or subjects, the work is uniquely Australian, highly sought after and extremely good investment value.
Some of Elizabeth's work was unveiled by actor Geoffrey Rush. The ABC did two stories on Elizabeth's work as did Channel Nine, and many arts publications.