Leah Fraser: Let Her Go Into Darkness

11 - 29 May 2021
Exhibition Text

Motherhood, the occult, nature are expressed through Fraser’s paintings. Each work, centred on one female figure who appears floating or falling, never escaping their surroundings. Here, there is an energy of being tightly held in the space. In these depictions feminine power is limitless, diverse and divine. In For the heart is an organ of fire, the figure holds a flame while multiple stary hands reach for her. For, Hold on – the night is coming, the neighbouring light attracts moths in the darkness, cocoons representing growth and rebirth.

A dreamy colour palette begins organically and continues intuitively, the artist working with a feeling — maybe hands first appear as the rest of the form grows around the figure. Acrylics allow Fraser to work quickly, often painting over the works; each layer revealing multiple states of presence.


The surrounding landscape enters the artworks as ethereal flowers and foliage, birds dip and dive between limbs, while fragrant jasmine and hydrangeas impart smells onto the audience for a multi-sensory affair. Connection to nature is key to Fraser’s oeuvre. Her figures are wild women — witches from the forest or Dionysus’ cult.


Let her go into the darkness raises questions of our disconnection to the environment; destruction for more houses, food, beauty products, clothes. All elements that contemporary women muse over — the artworks ask if there is more to modern life?

These ideas link to lifecycles — symbols of the moon, the female body, the ocean tides. Or stars, connecting the female body to the universe in all its entirety, working with the energy field of matter and our biological bond. This ideology works in two ways; her figures are captured within the busyness, frozen in time, the centre. Using energy, matter and lifecycles, she also links science and magic, explaining the unexplained.


The women within Fraser’s artworks feel especially relevant for today’s society — as parliament crumbles under allegations that leave women vulnerable, and floods destroy material goods. They also represent seeking for interconnectedness in a post-covid world beyond technology. Fraser’s characters fulfil a sense of the Shaman — linking us to a state of healing.

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