Leah Fraser: The Thin Places

7 - 30 March 2024
Works
The Thin Places
7 – 30 March 24

Leah Fraser is enchanted by the universal psyche that has connected civilisations, both ancient and contemporary, throughout history. “It’s so interesting that as humans we have these stories that are parallel to one another, it reflects our way of explaining the world and nature and science, before there were words for those things.” Charged with this energy, Fraser’s paintings are driven by intuition, a gut feeling. Fraser depicts worlds that she can feel, but not see. The artist reflects on this sensation, “it’s so much a part of me, it’s my way of interpreting the world.” Guided by mythology, folklore, and the occult, Fraser engages in conversations with the canvas, allowing this connection to dictate her next move. With every brushstroke the narrative unfolds, weaving together realms, both seen and unseen.

In Celtic mythology ‘The Thin Places’ are locations where the physical world and the eternal world are thin, or even where they become one. A spot where you are awakened to other forces that occupy the world beyond. These new paintings are Fraser’s Thin Places, a deeply personal expression of self, snippets of Fraser’s soul. In this collection, figures float between the veil that separates worlds. We exist in the tangible world, detached from the unseen. Fraser breaks down these boundaries, painting figures that exist only in her imagination—capturing the essence of being between worlds. ‘The Thin Places’ is about finding one’s truth, discovering what lies within. The artist muses, “the stories behind them are a very ephemeral thing. I think it could be a different story for everyone that looks at it.” The paintings become portals for reflection.

Guided by her connection with the element of air, being a Vata Dosha, the space and air element, in the Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda and an air sign, Libra, in zodiac astrology, Fraser’s works focus on how connection is established through the air. The way it caresses your skin and the skin of others, how it flows through the natural environment. Constantly in motion, forever intertwined with the cosmos. Canvases are adorned with birds soaring through boundless skies, evoking a sense of liberation and transcendence. Visible streams of air weave through the compositions, imbuing them with a palpable sense of movement and fluidity. The delicate figures appear weightless, as they effortlessly glide through worlds unknown. Fraser employs an ethereal colour scheme, reminiscent of drifting in and out of a dreamscape. The enigmatic gazes and gentle expressions of the characters forge an irrefutable bond with the viewer.

Fraser's exploration of ‘The Thin Places’ beckons viewers to embark on a journey of introspection and transcendence. Through her paintings, she invites us to embrace the interconnectedness of existence and to discover the beauty that lies within the subtle currents of the air. Come forth and cross the veil.

Imogen Charge
Artist Profile

Exhibition Text

Leah Fraser creates lyrical paintings and ceramics that engage with history, magic and the unknown in their metaphorical visualisation of the 'waters of life'. Arthouse Gallery is delighted to be exhibiting a new collection of work from Fraser that will evoke the ethereal and mystical with her unique ability to create magical worlds through her paintings.

 

Drawing inspiration from folk mythologies, diverse cultures and children’s tales, Fraser’s paintings depict shaman-like characters travelling through mystic lands in search of spiritual metamorphosis. Decorated in ritualistic clothing and plants in a ceremonial splendour, the figures have a deep respect for and understanding of the natural world, prompting the viewer to contemplate their own (dis)connection with nature.

 

After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Fraser was granted an Art Production Residency in Arquetopia, Puebla Mexico (2012) and has regularly exhibited throughout Australia in solo and group shows. The artist has also been a finalist in a number of awards, including the Blake Prize for Religious Art (2014, 2009), the Moreton Bay Art Prize (2016), Kings Art Prize (2019) and the Portia Geach Memorial Award (2017).