Artist Profile: Leigh Camilleri

LEIGH CAMILLERI’S ENERGETIC WORK CAPTURES THE IMPERMANENCE OF NATURE. SHE TALKS TO STEPHANIE VIGILANTE ABOUT HER RELATIONSHIP WITH PLACE.

Brisbane-based artist Leigh Camilleri grew up in a city dotted with unused lots of land. She’d spend her time drawing urban weeds, seeds and flowers to distract herself from the industrial world around her.

Now many years on, and as an established artist, her work tells the story of her physical journey through work she describes as abstract expressionism – “finding traces of the history, the idea of place, patterns, layers systems of time and relationships,” she says. These traces form an energy and series of patterns that pull a work together as a composition.

Leigh is drawn to the impermanence of nature; like cliff faces that will fall to the test of time and gravity, holding off the beating winds and rain. “Each day they will expose another slice of history and beauty of their story,” she says. “Like the skin of a person, every day some new scar builds a lifetime.”

The artist uses charcoal, graphite and pastel for her observation drawing. She works with synthetic polymer on board or canvas, watercolour on paper and oil on board or canvas.

Over the last couple of years Leigh has been capturing bodies of water – from the sea, to the beach, to the quarry – through her bold art. “[I focus] on places that are not stereotypically beautiful,” she says. “Through a memory of theirs and a mark of mine, the connection between artist and viewer is complete.”

Leigh has work in public collections including The Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings, Redcliffe Art Gallery, Queensland, and The Redland Regional Gallery collections.

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