“My subject matter explores the symbolic language of dreams and the subconscious landscape of emotions from a very personal, distinctly feminine perspective. Creative expression is often seen as a form of therapy, but for me it becomes a celebration, a revelation rather than angst or drama.
Even though my work is not completely devoid of those turmoil states, I find lately that I am not using the creative process to work through something - as I have in the past. Instead I am experiencing the process more as a mantra of loving attention and open-hearted acceptance of what is unfolding in my personal world and the world at large.
If I cannot reach this state - I can't create the way I like to - with clarity and openness to the process. So my whole life (the food I eat, my meditation practice, dancing, nature, books I read, talks I listen to, movies I watch, people I spend time with) really impacts my work.
My focus therefore, is aimed at everything that will assist me getting into and staying in a state of appreciation of all that is.”
ARTIST BIOBACK TO GALLERY
Leila is a painter and illustrator. Born to a South African artist and an African American musician, she was raised in South Africa and currently works from her studio in the Cape.
After graduating from The JHB National School of the Arts Johannesburg, Leila trained in graphic design and water-colour painting, holding her first exhibition in 1993 at the age of 23. Her current medium is oil and oil pastel on wood and canvas. She regularly exhibits in annual group exhibitions locally and internationally. Most recently in Los Angeles with a mini solo at Band of Vices Gallery as well as in New York at the Harlem Fine Arts Show.
She has held 4 solo's to date and has been a headline artist for four years taking part in Solo Studio's, an annual fine art event in Riebeek Kasteel. Leila received a Highly Commended award in the UK Rise Art competition 2018, juried by a panel including Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner and David Bailey.
Leila Fanner's paintings have appeared in Britain's Vogue Gallery, SA Art Times and Harlem Fine Arts Magazine among others. Her works are both figurative and non- figurative, distinguished by her use of dark or silhouetted figures, prolific patterning, bold colour and South African florals. Through her art, Leila unfolds a story about the soul's journey within the material world, often referencing African flora and fauna, fabric patterns and folklore.
Her process is intuitive and having been raised in a family of women, displays a distinctly feminine perspective. Leila's work-flow in her approach to creativity and self-expression remains free of scholastic rules.
Raised within the artistic atmosphere of a creative family, spanning two continents, Leila's education into the visual arts and influences came via her exposure to many philosophical discussions about art, design and music as she grew up as well as the guidance of creative mentors during her formative years. Her application, choice of mediums and skill developed as a result of a continuous quest for experiential learning.
First Solo Exhibition in Cape Town: 'Superwomen' held at the Kunsthouse Gallery in Kloof Street, Cape Town in 2008.
Leila Fanner's art is held in public and private collections in South Africa, the USA, the UK, France, Belgium, Australia, Kenya, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
Noteworthy Private Collection Acquisitions
'The Bunker,' West Palm Beach, private collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody
Ms. C.C.H. Pounder Academy Award-nominated actor