NIMBIN ARTIST: A Phillippa Leader painting called Frida's imaginary journey to Alstonville.
NIMBIN ARTIST: A Phillippa Leader painting called Frida's imaginary journey to Alstonville.

Myth and magic art portrayed in new art show

THE Northern Rivers is a beautiful healing place according to Nimbin artist Phillipa Leader.

It is that thought that has inspired at least some of the paintings that will be on display at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina this month.

Phillipa and her friend Ann Belle are presenting a combined exhibition entitled Myth and Magic.

Ann will present a series of pastel drawing which relate to her lifelong interest in myth and mysticism while Phillipa's work explores her response to the lifestyle she lives in the lush subtropical bush on a community in the Nimbin region Phillippa paints figures using motifs and designs connected to the alternative scene and it's roots.

However as with the old adage you have to be away to see something clearly many of her works weren't actually painted or formulated here in the Northern Rivers though that is definitely where they come from.

"I went out West to teach and I couldn't stop painting where I live in Nimbin," she said.

"The beauty of the land and the spirit of the place."

What emerged is a swirl of dancing figures, colour and joy of what she describes as a special place. A place of healing.

It was the healing aspect that also came into some of her works which is imagining the artist Frida Kahlo coming to the region and being healed of her injuries and pains.

"Frida Kahlo always looked so sad in later pictures - she was in so much pain," Phillipa explained.

"In my imagination she comes here and has an amazing experience."

The works are colourful and joyous and Phillipa admits painting and colour are her first loves though that doesn't mean that is all she has done in her long career. She is a jack of all trades, doing a degree in Sculpture, working in cartooning and teaching both children and older people.

She currently runs an over 50s class in Lismore each week and is being constantly blown away by the talent and enthusiasm of her students.

The exhibition in Ballina opens Wednesday, January 16 2019 and continue until Sunday, March 10, 2019. The official launch event is Thursday, January 17 from 5.30pm-7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.


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