Leah Fraser’s new suite of paintings and ceramics looks at the profound respect for nature that pivots certain cultures and religions. For the artist, humanity has an eternal bond with nature that crowns our most basic instincts, deeply etched in the symbology of human culture. In an age defined by rampant consumption, industrialisation and environmental plunder, she asks that we look back to the past in order to rekindle our primordial connection to the natural world.
Fraser’s fictional characters are conjured from a diverse set of ideological and cultural influences. Healers and shamans, medicine men and witches – the traditional cultural conduits between reality and spirituality – inhabit a world parallel to our own. These spiritual beings act as visual tropes for the way storytelling, religion and ceremony have been historically used to pass on knowledge within the collective consciousness of certain cultures. Fraser is interested in what such stories and folklore can teach us about ourselves and the world, and her works suggest that by infusing modern thought with ancient attitudes about the natural world the horizon of humanity will indeed be much brighter.