Saturday, June 6, 2015
Leah Fraser at Arthouse Gallery - 6 June
I've only noticed Leah Fraser over the last year, but I've really taken to her style (she got 2 points at the Blake Prize and 3 at a group show at the arthouse). So I made a beeline back to the arthouse on Saturday when I saw she had a new solo show, Message from the World Invisible.
En masse, you are completely immersed in the fictitious world that Leah has developed. And I liked it. And it wasn't just me, as this show had sold out on opening night. All women buyers too according to the gallerina. I can see that, there is a strong Frankie magazine x Del Kathryn Barton vibe running through this show (Leah used to work for Del Kathryn Barton). I particularly enjoyed the overuse of birds and flowers in these pieces. Despite the naive style (the cockatoo and kookaburra's are particularly funky) you really get the sense that Leah has put deliberate thought into the different species to use, which I appreciated as a viewer trying to decipher the images. Native orchids, tropical plants, flowing hipster beards. These paintings had. it. all. As in the recent group show, Leah has included a few interesting ceramic pieces. I really liked the incorporation of the raw crystals / semi-precious gemstones into the pieces such as in 'Turn Your Body to Light Shaman' (pictured below).
Points: 3 for the prolific hibiscus in 'My Heart Belongs to the Sea' (pictured top). 2 points for 'We Sang Songs beneath a web of Stars', and I will give 1 point for the spears of what looked like dendrobium speciosum in 'His Opal Hands Gathering You'.