Leigh Pearson – Afresh
Hosted By 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace
August 21st - September 18th, 2021
Leigh Pearson is an artist working on the East Coast of Australia in Byron Bay. Pearson began painting relatively late after a career in the design and production of children’s clothing. The artist is committed to continually advancing into new creative territory and embracing the discomfort that change precipitates. Her view is that art education and development as a lifelong process. Though mainly self-taught, Pearson is a prolific student, having attended several art programs both locally and overseas.
About this exhibition Leigh says:
“I began this body of work after more then a year away from painting – a year that included closing the doors on my Melbourne life, stepping into that exciting and terrifying space of not knowing what lies ahead, and finally, to creating my new life in northern New South Wales. As I began afresh in my beautiful new studio space I was quite curious to see what would emerge on the canvas.
Painting, for me, is always a journey into the unknown. I traverse new territory with every work, trusting in the unfolding, in the magic that occurs when I get out of the way and let it happen. The creation of a body of work is a journey of its own. I begin by simply making marks, or laying down some colour. From there it is a process of responding to what happens on the canvas, letting myself be drawn in, really being present with the work, allowing it to be what it wants to be, rather than what I think it should be.
Each painting informs the next one, and so it goes until the body of work is completed.
When I look at and reflect upon this body of work I feel I am seeing into a mystical space, I have a sense of otherworldliness. I see abundance, life, growth, hope. This work has emerged at a time where our lack of care for, and disconnect from our planet is having devastating consequences. These paintings serve as a reminder of our connection to the natural world, a reminder of its preciousness. I feel they depict a reverence for the planet, and a sense of hope for a more loving connected world. “