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Leila Fanner


For Leila, painting has become an externalised form of meditation -a way of internalising an understanding of this world and other, less tangible realms. Central to her recent body of work, is the depiction of a single feminine form. The figurative presence in each creation exists as a guide or an explorer-companion. The figures presented seem to be both a mythical and metaphorical imagining of being immersed in the natural world while experiencing ties to the ephemeral.

As an artist who has explored both lucid abstraction and immaculately detailed figurative work, this selection of paintings makes a strong case for progression towards a middle-ground. With intently formed imagery that alludes to memories, imaginings and storytelling, the loosely constructed figures leave room for interpretation and hold space for personal understandings and perspectives.

Throughout the works, symbols and narratives circulate through each piece creating an elaborate tale with exuberant tones and illuminating imagery about the Soul traversing realms of consciousness and existence. The paintings are evocative and intricate, calling for self-reflection and a moment of quiet absorption. The use of patterns and vivid colouration in her garments come intuitively, as she gives form to the idea of being surrounded by, and part of, the intricate energy patterns of life. Objects and creatures appear to be half formed and are merely symbols, such as a piece of furniture ( the soul’s attachments to the material realm) or an animal or bird (characteristics of the human mind)

Her creative inspiration is interwoven with  dreams  and  personally meaningful symbols. Using the natural world as her subject, she explores her relationship with the material realm from both a metaphysical and spiritual viewpoint. Always starting off with a clear plan in mind, Leila has mentioned that she is “often in a hurry to ‘see’” what she has imagined, beginning with a digital collage of sorts and working from there. Her method once she has started a painting, is to let the rhythm of the process take its course, seldom referring back to the initial plan once she is in the swing of creating.