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Born in Scotland of Scottish / Italian parents, Leana Zaccarini was whisked off to South Africa during the 1970's as a young child. She spent many years in Cape Town and Namibia and grew accustomed to the colours, sounds and smells of this rich and turbulent land. The vibrant, unforgivingly bright colours of nature, were the first and most intense inspiration of Leana’s work.
In Cape Town Leana studied art and graphic design at the Ruth Prowse School of Art and art therapy through the Frank Joubert School of Art (headed up by Ruth Russel-Payne) as well as psychometry and psychological work tools for communication through the University of Innsbruck ( Austria). She then worked within the advertising and design industry, where she used her artistic talents as well as analytical skills to bring about effective, creative business solutions.
Leana is an artist, artiste and communicator of expression and ideas. She expresses herself through her paintings, music and songs and craft works. During her life, many things have touched her soul and she tries to communicate these feelings through her art. Her inspirations are music, her psychological studies (especially for the exhibition “The mask within”) and travelling. Leana has visited many places, such as Thailand, Africa, America, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and so on. Each of these countries has been a very important inspiration for her art.
Leana’s art works are a mix of pure colour with tactile and decorative elements. She loves the fact that people are not only able to look at her pieces, but touch them, feel them and discover texture and depth. That was the motive of her very first art exhibition that took place while she was still attending college and it was made up of a series of masks for The Touch Gallery, Cape Town in 1984.
Songs and music are great inspirations too, as well as dance and body movements in general. As a singer, music and its nuances have inspired many of Leana’s works as well as lyrics. She has been inspired by many different genres of music, between soft rock, folk and blues. She has written many original songs (both lyrics and music) and has co-written originals together with Lilian Gray and Merton Barrow. Most of the pieces have been in the jazz and blues genre.
Most of the exhibitions that Leana has had took place in South Africa. In 1992 she used her psychological competences for the exhibition “The mask within” at the Frank Joubert School of Art of Western Cape. Four years later, in1996 her art works were displayed in Stellenbosch in the showcase “The Wonder of it all”. In 1997 Leana’s exhibition “A fourth dimension” was held at the Cape Town Observatory and Planetarium and then in Cafe Camissa. One year later the “Blue interlude” exhibition took place in Café Camissa too.
After a break, during which time she has concentrated on rearing her young son, Leana’s art works were displayed in Edinburgh on 16 December 2005 at an exhibition of original paintings as part of the Scottish Art Council funded Entrepeneurs in Education art exhibition. Some of these works will again, be displayed in February 2006 at an exhibition organised by the Tartan Army.
1_Been Around The World
Searching the globe for a pure and unconditional love. Being aware of all the senses. Learning and growing constantly, but always searching. Looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and realising that it is the cycle that is important and not the goal.
Mixed Media (acrylics, water based oils, 3D gels, glitter): 50 x 50 cm
2_Constant Craving, Repeated Theme
The universe so large, the night skies just before a lunar eclipse so tantalisingly rich. Hues of blue and indigo almost good enough to eat. Sensing the vastness of the galaxies and bathing in the last few seconds of the moon's effervescent glow.
Mixed Media (acrylics, water based oils, 3D gels, glitter): 50 x 50 cm
3_The Birth Of The Blues
The sublime comfort of the womb where a small, but knowing smile begins to appear as she listens to the strains of the beginnings of a new song for the world to sing. She is aware of the sadness to come and that of the past, but enjoys the present for the creative moment that it is. She is alive and filled with the memory and promise of passionate creation.
Water Colour: 60 x 90 cm
The fierce sun leads the pulsating rhythm of this exciting city. The waters frolic in anticipation of those fun seeking water babies. The mountain stands proud and distinguished, but the crosses that adorn its table top mourn the dead and those that will die in the turbulent times ahead. The city lights glisten and mirror the optimistic dreams of the rainbow nation.
Acrylic & Gouache: 45 x 30 cm
5_Childhood Landscape Realised
The elements are all represented in this landscape. It unfolds to show each one with its own personal signature remembered from a childhood dream. A sky that holds creamy, candy-filled clouds atop a berry rich fiery sunset. Barley sugar twists between liquorice “drop” and the tropical flavoured sea curls its tempting waves upon the shore.
Acrylic & Gouache: 50 x 35 cm
(Not for sale)
The earth, radiating an energy not known before. An energy that aesthetically pleases, an energy that fulfils our existential desires, but for how long? The universe around us accepting our poisonous gift, lulling us into believing there may be no real recourse.
Mixed Media (water colour, inks, 3D gels, gauche): 40 x 40 cm
7_The Party Of Life
The sun, the moon, the stars and the joyous abandonment of the freedom that comes with knowing that, although sometimes sad and painful, life is a party to be lived and loved to the full.
Oil: 30 x 30 cm
8_The Perfect Wine
A rich and full, properly aged and stored wine from a small, but prestigious vineyard in sunny France. It has been sniffed and swirled and the tears drip in a syrupy fashion against the backdrop of a lively flame. The crisp crystal glass ensures that the flavour and texture of this fermented brew excludes all else. Indulge yourself.
Mixed Medium: 40 x 160 cm
The pattern of the dance is regimented, but the individual expresses each movement with their own intimate touch. The camp fires reflect the colours of the glistening bodies and costumes, while the dust is kicked up and swirls around the ankles of the dancers. Spirits rise in ecstasy to join the forefathers of the people so that wisdom can be shared to bring about a fulfilling future.
Mixed Medium (water, oil gold leaf, gauche): 40 x 40 cm
10_The Windmills Of My Mind
Colours, patterns, thoughts and discourse. Swirling, pointing, sending tendrils of my soul to the corners of the world. Reaching from the golden leafed pylon of strength to sometimes clear and ordered, sometimes fuzzy, erratic solutions. Colours, patterns, thoughts and discourse. Swirling...
Mixed Medium: 30 x 30 cm
11_The yellow brick road
The classic blue roses at the right hand bottom corner represent growth and beauty. The undergrowth is, however, tangled. As you follow the path up and towards the sunshine, the tight spirals unwind, encouraging you on to a future of warmth and shining opportunities.
Acrylic & Gouache: 50 x 70 cm
And so it begins. The tiny seed of life, pulsating in an instant and starting its journey to the surface. So small, so strong.
Mixed Medium: 40 x 40 cm
13_Viva Las Vegas
The composition juxtaposes the desert plains and the bright lights just as they are when travelling Route 66 to the man made pleasure haven of Las Vegas. A city that literally never sleeps it is surrounded by a natural, but cruel beauty. This beauty is distorted within the city boundaries, but it is just as cruel and equally dangerous.
Water colour and gauche: 80 x 100 cm
The form of the eye is raised so that even the blind can interpret the subject. This other dimension represents a raised level of self - knowledge. The iris reflects and absorbs the wild and exciting colours of the world. It’s observation allows a synthesis to come about, playing an intrinsic role in the eloquence of life.
Clay and mixed medium: 47 x 55
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