Desktop magazine feature

Breaking news! The renowned Australian design magazine, Desktop, has kindly written an online feature article on my latest series "I like pretty things". Written by Simone Murcutt, you can find the full interview here at Desktop magazine.

Below is an extract:

Where did the idea of exploring the objectification of females in society stem from?

I want to produce art that is meaningful to me. For the past few years I have focused on themes of childhood and sibling relationships, as I was in the midst of creating a family. But this year I was ready to do something a bit more grown up. I’m passionate about women’s rights and I also love art, fashion design, fashion photography, textiles, colour and pattern. Does one negate the other? We place a lot of value on things that are seemingly superficial, but perhaps they are not. These are questions I began to ask myself and wanted to explore through my work.


You studied commerce and work as an accountant. What made you take the plunge into visual arts?

I was drawing from the moment I could hold a pencil and stopped when I started work as a full time accountant. I got straight As in both Studio Art and Accounting in year 12 and decided to go down the more financially stable route. It wasn’t until I got pregnant in 2009 that I had an overwhelming urge to go back to producing art and in 2010 I commenced a visual arts course. Some women get the urge to nest when they are pregnant but I had the need to create.

It’s common to think that commerce or accounting are on a difference space to the art industry. How do you juggle the needs and complexities of both?

I find doing art and finance simultaneously is easy. Personally I don’t consider them to be that different and certainly historically, such as during Leonardo’s Da Vinci’s lifetime, math, science and visual arts came under the same umbrella. In both finance and visual arts, I apply similar skills such problem solving, observation, organisation, and initiative. While the finance side can sometimes be challenging, I find the artistic side relaxing and rejuvenating. They balance each other out.

Tell me about your very first exhibition and the emotions and processes that went with it.

My first solo exhibition in 2012 was such a great experience. Being my first solo exhibition it was very exciting. Many friends and family members came along to show their support and I sold more than I thought I would. The second solo exhibition in 2014 was much more nerve wrecking as there was a level of expectation that had been established by my first exhibition. Further, as an artist you can’t keep on relying on friends and family to buy your work. At some point you need to develop a following and that happens slowly over time.

What’s next for you?

Next year I will develop these works into oil paintings, perhaps combined with collage. There are plans for another solo exhibition in 2016 or 2017.

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Leah Marie Mariani

ABN 60 749 478 239

Surrey Hills, Australia 3127 

info@leahmariani.com

© all images remain the property of the artist and may not be used without consent