Heaving Into Mountains is a series of studies delving into the paradox of holding two opposites – ideas embodied in the wilderness. Inspired by a trip to Yosemite National Park in the spring of 2017, Leishman was overwhelmed by the dichotomy of the landscape and the effects of time: the noise of the waterfalls, the size of the boulders, and the softness of the meadows. It is the push and pull between opposing ideas that motivates her work: animating tensions between destruction and creation, expansion and contraction, explosion and implosion.
Each work is an homage to the natural environment, contrasting the violence and continual movement of water with the solid strength of an otherwise unyielding stone landscape. Leishman begins by creating reverse drawings using printmaking ink to lay down the bones and structure of the image. The works then evolve and grow as collage elements are added using fragments of older work and found materials from the bins of paper scraps in her studio. Leishman is drawn to what happens at the edges and among the layers, where two different materials or ideas meet, much like the collision of elements in the environment. The process of layering and the hand of the artist are apparent as she reveals the raw joints and the coarseness of fragments coming together.
The only constant in the wild is that it will change, an element can and will be both violent and passive, opposites held in a balance. In a world that is increasingly contentious, the need to feel peace within the chaos becomes more desperate. Annie Dillard wrote, “You can heave your spirit into a mountain, and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back...” This is my attempt to shift through all the stimulus and unrest. By drawing, painting and collaging, I seek to find an equivalent to the peace found in wild places. --Jackie Leishman
About the Artist
Jackie Leishman uses traditional and non-traditional materials, including fragments of old projects, to explore witnessed dichotomies. Formally trained as a photographer, her current creative practice embodies works in collage. It is the push and pull between opposing ideas that motivates her work: animating tensions between destruction and creation, expansion and contraction, explosion and implosion. Leishman grew up in Georgia and moved to the Los Angeles area after completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She has exhibited nationally, won awards, and taught fine art at universities in Utah and California. Her work is beloved by designers such as Leanne Ford and Emily Henderson. Recent exhibitions include her solo show “If Ever We Wake At All” at Writ & Vision in Utah, the Downtown LA Arts District at Angel City, and the evolving art collaboration, The Fourth Artist. The Fourth Artist – a collaboration between Leishman and fellow artist Patrice Dworkin, focuses on creating abstract imagery relevant to women’s issues and the lives of women artists.
Event is free and open to the public.