Artist Bio - Liliana Gilford
Born of European parents my sister Bettina and I were immersed in everything ‘cultural.’ My Russian father, a Professor of Music, and first violin teacher of Albert Einstein, together with my Viennese mother, ex-Olympian, fashion designer, model, psychologist, artist and Cultural Attaché to France, both insisted on the very best kind of academic instruction. Throughout our formative years, my sister and I were surrounded by the constant influx of friends' of my parents. Artists, actors, concertizing musicians, opera singers, poets, writers, and an all-sorts collection of academics and professors would visit our modest home. On one of dad’s numerous working ‘holidays’ abroad, we attended the premier of “Hair” held at the Public Theatre just Off Broadway. Seated in the front row on the stage itself, we were instantly integrated into the performance after which our lives immediately changed. Freedom of expression, vibrant positive energy, colour, nudity, a portrayal of spirituality, joyfulness, bliss via music and dance [performed by a cast of black and white members], impacted upon our conservative, ‘classical’ world. For me, the auspicious words from the glorious anthem, the ‘Age of Aquarius’ and especially the remarkable visibility of the human form were to inspire ideas and influence my style of expression in future time.
At college I majored in 3D Sculpture and Figure Drawing, studying with artist John Money and sculptor Warren Brannigan who both became established artists in their own right. I had also met David Jack, son of Kennth Jack, the amazing water-colourist and wonderful Printmaker, [who coincidently, lived just a block from my family home in Malvern]. On occasion David and I would catch up at his dad's studio, which was situated at the back of their home. There we would watch Ken at work, printmaking or painting, and sometimes even demonstrating his magic for me on sheets of butchers paper, or coorigated cardbord.
I had studied under artists, Victor Majzner, Peter Campbell, Master Printmaker Geoff La Gerche, sculptor Robin Angwin, and Judy Spafford my life-drawing tutor- a gifted teacher and artist, whose strong and uncompromising sharp intellect and interest in the human condition showed her to be a woman of exceptional integrity and fortitude. Additionally, I had also had the privilage of meeting and learning 'tricks' in drawing techniques, and shared ideas and inspiritations with artist Louis Kahan, a frequent visitor to our family home, and close friend of my parents.
Now 40 years on, [a semi-retired teacher/tutor], I have started my own work, after having been badgered over the years, by family, friends and pupils to do so. Essentially, each of my works are existential mappings that invite engagement and discovery via central themes such as purpose, family, dance, truth, mediation, compassion, joy, peace, the intrinsic notions of a good book or an inspirational poem, song, film or architectural structure.
My most influential artists, cinematographers, designers and architects include such eccentrics as Dali and Brunel’s ‘Un Chien Andalou”,the enigmatic David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’, Hampton Fancher’s ‘Bladerunner’, Serrano’s provokative ‘Piss Christ’, Jean Tinguely's absurd ‘Homage to New York, Hitchcock's disturbing 'Psycho,' Peter Greenaway's 'The Cook, the Thief,his Wife and her Lover, Fellini's' Decameron, as well as off-beat brilliant architects Bernard Tschumi [and his nonsensical Parc de la Villette], in sync with the futuristic madness of Lebbeus Woods and the ingenious aesthetic of Frank Gehry’s avant-garde designs-each have influenced to a greater or lesser extent the style and character, of my work. Other inspirational 'avant-gardists' include such icons as Christian Dior, Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen and Guy Bourdin just to name a few.
My imagery is largely figurative and unconventional in style and concept, frequently unorthodox in balance and colour, with an eccentric use of line and occasional insertion of poignant text.
My hope is to 'move' people from where they are,to make them think,to make them feel, to challenge them even if its for just a moment. Occasionally it may be uncomfortable,perhaps sometimes chaotic and confusing, yet other works will talk of quietness joy and even humour. I combine portraits with genre work with unusual and sporadically, even strange/peculiar references, designed as food for thought These define my beliefs,and understandings of the human condition.
1974-1977 Diploma in Fine Art and Design Caulfield Institute of Technology
1977-1978 Diploma in Secondary Education Burwood state College
1978-1981 Head of Art Department at Sacred Heart College Oakleigh
1980-1994 Life Drawing Teacher at Malvern Artists Society
Life Drawing Teacher at Victorian Artists Society
1981-1998 Head of Art Department at Shelford Girls’ Grammar
1998-2000 Orientation Year Lecturer in Art Swinburne College
1991-2018 Teaching Art Classes at my home Studio]
2005,2007,2008 [Attended: -Atelier de Seguret France]
2000-2018 Private Tutor [Home-ongoing]:
-Bachelor of Arts, [Honours Year and Thesis writing Fine Art]
-Bachelor of Architectural Design [Honours Year and Thesis writing]
-Bachelor of Interior Architecture [Honours Year and Thesis writing]
-Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design
-Bachelor of Fashion Design
-Bachelor of Graphic Design
-Year 12 Visual Communication and Design, Studio Arts, Art
[Presently working towards an Exhibition to be held in 2019 Melbourne]
My Artshow Awards