Liza Wallman is an oddball. In her childhood she would paint at the kitchen counter, her tongue sticking out as an indication of her concentration. As Liza grew up, Dawn, Liza’s mom, would commission her daughter to make art knowing that Liza loved doing it. Although she no longer sticks out her tongue when she paints, Liza does still get lost in the process. In 2012, Dawn asked Liza to paint a large Canadian flag for her. Liza painted the flag using reclaimed wood from her family’s barn as the canvas. She then sanded and stained the flag to give it a vintage feel. Friends and family have asked her to create their own flag upon seeing the first one. This process of creating has given her so much pleasure that she is pursuing painting flags full time under the business called Halyard.
Liza has combined her love of history and making in Halyard. She completed her MA at OCADU in the Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Histories program in May 2014. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Carleton University. History has greatly influenced her work as flags have served as a visual mode of unifying entire nations for centuries. Her interest in not only Canadian history but the histories of many countries allows for wide ranging possibilities in the variety of flags she can interact with. Halyard is the rope that hoists any flag and the shop that paints any flag.
Halyard produces one of a kind hand-made-from-start-to-finish flags. All of the wood is reclaimed. Much of the wood comes from Liza’s parent’s apple orchard. The big crates that are used to move apples start to fall apart after years of ware and tear. Liza takes these disheveled crates and roughly cuts them down into big hunks of wood. The wood is then finely cut into one of Halyard’s standard flag sizes – 80×40 cm, 60×30 cm or 40×20 cm. Sometimes, the wood is cut into a custom size because Halyard does custom orders too! Liza then draws an outline of the flag onto the wood. The drawing is filled in by hand painting (not printing!) the details of the flag. The paint dries, and Liza sands and stains the wood to give it a vintage feel. The flags are finished off by the addition of picture hanging hardware so they are ready to be displayed wherever you choose! Liza creates original flags that are often an amalgamation of two nation's emblems and makes custom orders for you or your special someone with multicultural backgrounds.