artist + designer + illustrator

         

 

 

Leila Fanner is a painter and illustrator. Born to a South African artist and an African American musician, She was raised in South Africa and currently works from her studio in Riebeek Kasteel.

 

Leila is both a figurative and an abstract painter. Her creative inspiration is interwoven with dreams and personal dream symbols. Using the natural world as her subject, she explores her relationship with the material realm from both a metaphysical and spiritual viewpoint. 

After her studies at the Johannesburg National School of the Arts, she took private tuition in both graphic design and watercolour painting, holding her first exhibition at the age of 23.

 

Her work has appeared in British Vogue Gallery 2015. Her most recent exhibitions : 'Harlem Fine Art Show' in New York, 'Abandoned Garden' exhibition at Eclectica Contemporary..

Leila’s art is held in private collections in South Africa, Germany, France, Kenya, England, Ireland and the USA.

Creative Processes: 


 ENTHUSIASM

c. 1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "to be inspired or possessed by God, be

rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by God"

" The dominant focus as I work is the quality of my thoughts and the connection to emotion during the creative process.

I always try to create from a place of inspired action or enthusiasm. Often, negative and painful thought patterns can come to the surface as one works, because art creation is a deeply cathartic experience.

 

Solitude also evokes deeply held memories and emotions. Keeping my focus clear, honest and joyful is a discipline similar to meditation. This is the unseen 'art' that comes with each piece of work.

 

My subject matter is either figurative or abstract representations of the ‘dream or unseen’ world, filled with versions of South African flora and fauna.’

 

INSPIRATIONS

 

Vintage markets. Botanical  art  photography. Fashion. Japanese art movies.Spiritual philosophy. Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s novels.

Patterns. They are EVERYWHERE. I’m obsessed with them.

The curvilinear era, Art Nouveau, and all its artists; Klimt, Mucha, Mackintosh from the Arts and Crafts Movement, African & European Folk Art.

The romantic, stylized artistic expression of that period. 

  feminine whimsy  - boldness in shapes

and vivid colours. 

 

 

Life Stuff:
 

A white South African artist and an African American/Navajo musician made love and music in a New York apartment in the 60's. She never saw him again. Nine months later, I arrived. I have two sisters (twins) from a different father - Misty-Dawn and Starry-Eve. That's a story for another time...

 

As a child, I always knew I was an artist, yet I ran away from my vocation - vowing I would not become a "struggling artist" - at the age of 12, having witnessed the struggle of my highly creative, yet economically challenged mother.

 

Despite that vow, I went on to be a crafter, artist and maker of things ever since, driving my dear mother batty with my penchant for cutting up my clothes to re-make them in my own way.

 

I sold my first art and craft works at age 10 - papier maché animals, rag dolls and Barbie doll outfit. I enjoyed packaging them as much as making them. I think people possibly bought them to frame.

I write about how I found the courage to be an artist in my blog....

 

Born in California and raised in a little town in South Africa, we grew up eating my mom's wholesome organic garden produce and running wild with the creatures on the mountains of Pilgrims Rest.

My sister, Dawn has a special way with tapestry, her twin, Eve creates artsy items of furniture through her upholstery business, and thus each of us continues to embellish upon  the entrepreneurial heritage of our parents.

 

EXHIBITIONS:

 

  • First exhibition 'Faux Masters' miniature watercolours exhibition,Mpumalanga - 1993.

  • Watercolour studies - Baghdad Café Art Fair exhibited 1992-5.

  • African Ochre Stills series exhibited at a joint exhibition at Casterbridge in 1998.

  • Abstract Art Exhibition’s in the Cape Quarter - 2006 and 2007.

  • SUPERWOMEN -  1st Solo, mixed media portraits, Kunsthouse, Cape Town - 2008

  • 40 Dorp Street Gallery Exhibition - 2009

  • Lovell Gallery - Pieces and Puzzles Exhibition - September 2013

  • Art in The Yard Exhibition - Franschhoek  - November 2013

  • CAPE TOWN ART FAIR - AITY -  group show

  • Skullduggery, The Studio, Kalkbay, July 2014

  • Claudia's Wall Exhibition, Riebeek Kasteel, May 2015

  • 'KINGDOM' group show - Equus gallery, Cavalli Estate, September 2015

  • 'Aeipathy' - Cavalli Gallery, February 2016

  • 'Solo Studio's' - Riebeek Kasteel, July 2016

  • 'Unify' - Art In The Yard, September 2016

  • 'KINGDOM' group show - Cavalli, September 2016

  • 'Flowers In Art' - The Castle of Good Hope, October 2016

  • 'Summertide' - The Gallery, Riebeek Kasteel, Dec - Jan 2017

  • 'Summer Salon' - Aity Gallery, Franschhoek, Dec - Jan 2017

  • Solo Studios 2017

  • Harlem Fine Art Show - New York 2018

  • "Abandoned Garden' - Eclectica Art & Design 2018

  • A Thread Runs Through It - Hermanus Fine Art Show 2018

 

 

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© 2019 by Leila Fanner

Riebeek Kasteel,Western Cape, 7307

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