Leila Fanner | Ceremony for the Soul
Presenting a series of paintings imbued with vivid colors abstract motions and delicate details, Leila Fanner is featured as September’s invited artist for Eclectica Collection. For Leila, painting becomes a meditation in an external sense, and a way of incorporating vistas of this world and others. Central to her body of work and seen in others that have come before, is the depiction of a single feminine form. The figurative presence in her work elaborates on notions of sentience, with each creation existing as a guide or an explorer-companion. The figures presented seem to be 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 that converse on the traversing of our realms of consciousness and existence. The works 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 such as a piece of furniture or an animal or bird are symbols of the soul’s attachments to the material realm and characteristics of the human mind.
Her creative inspiration is interwoven with dreams and personally nostalgic 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 often to just let the rhythm of the process take its course, seldom referring back to the initial plan. With her last solo exhibition taking place in 2009, this body of work can be seen as the resul of years of thinking, planning, working and imagining, with notions of spirituality and mindfulness at the core of the work. In this series, she is clothed in vibrant energy that supports, protects and gives a recognizable shape to her figurative form.
Some of her work famously appeared in British Vogue 2015. Since then, Leila has exhibited widely around South Africa and specifically within the Western Cape. Her work has been featured at various art fairs in South Africa and in New York. Leila recently became one of Eclectica Galleries’s represented artists and will be featured at this year’s FNB Joburg Art Fair
Leila’s art is in private collections in South Africa, Germany, France, Kenya, England and the USA.
– Clare Patrick