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I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has come to see ‘High Society’ in Sydney. Extra special thanks to everyone @olsen_gallery for their hard work and to @samsungau for supplying their incredible Frame TVs and invaluable technical support. Preparations are now well-underway for New York where the exhibition opens at @olsengruin on Friday November 15th at 6pm. I would love to see you there. Last day in Sydney today to see it!
Pineapple. Artwork size 91cm x 72cm. Limited edition of 30. On exhibition as part of 'High Society' until this Saturday at the @olsen_gallery Many of the names were chosen by the young daughters (Tilly and Hatty) of good friends (Tim and Kym), including Pineapple which is their budgerigar - a free flying member of the family. Pineapple was a joy to be with. On exhibition in Sydney until this Saturday 9th November @olsen_gallery New York City 13 November 2019 - January 6, 2020 Please join me in NYC: Opening Reception, Friday 15th November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Charcoal and Ash on view now in Sydney at @olsen_gallery. It is also on view as a finalist in the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award 2019 @campbelltownartscentre The birds represent white ash on a burnt tree. The work was photographed in colour but appears b&w until you notice little hints like splashes of blue feathers. To realise this work I built a 10 metre by 4 metre by 4 metre aviary in a studio. Two sizes Large 114 x 112cm (45” x 44”) edition of 8 and Giant 155cm x 152cm (61” x 60”) edition of 6. Photographic prints on fibre-based cotton rag. I will be visiting the gallery this afternoon (Friday). The gallery is open tomorrow (Saturday) and closed Sundays. Sydney High Society | until 9 November, 2019 @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Candle. Artwork size 112cm x 89cm (44” x 35”). Limited edition photographic print on fibre-based cotton rag. Sydney High Society | until 9 November, 2019 @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit my exhibition ‘High Society’ in Sydney @olsen_gallery It can be viewed (Tuesdays to Saturdays) until Saturday 9th of November before it heads to New York @olsengruin
Thank you to artist and friend James McGrath @james_mcgrath__ for his thoughts on my video art. "Upon watching Leila Jeffreys' video ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home' (8 minutes 20 seconds) I am reminded of exquisite 16th to 17th century Japanese folding screens known as byōbu. The term ‘byōbu’ means ‘protection from wind’, and was used to allow interior spaces of Japanese palaces, temples, shrines to open onto adjoining gardens. Within this video one senses a similar goal of both protection and connection to nature and wind. Basic elements are shared by both such as the tree as a sanctuary for the birds, the gust of air created by fluttering wings, the golden sense of time slowed down like an interstitial space between seasons. Physically the Triptych video composition is analogous to the hinged silk panels of Japanese ‘byōbu’ screens, allowing cuts and (seasonal) transitions within both artworks. Perhaps another parallel is artists working in a larger format amplifying core understanding of subject. Traditionally, most formats of Japanese painting were small. However, folding screens gave Japanese artists the opportunity to work on a larger scale, and the freedom to display their personal genius and ability. The result was the innovation of many styles and a high level of excellence in both painting and workmanship. Jeffreys' normal photographic artistic practice is transformed to a large scale video format, in which time has slowed to allow us to follow her observations and empathy with the birds she loves." A special thank you to @samsungau for providing technical support and three QLED 4K Frame TVs which are the world’s best quality for this purpose. Also thank you to Editor @mj_montalban and White Chocolate Post Production Chris Grocott & David Mosqueda. High Society is on now in Sydney until Saturday 9th November 2019 @olsen_gallery High Society then travels to New York 13th November 2019 - 6th January 2020 @olsengruin
High Society is a departure from my previous individual portraiture works which, I hope, sparked a feeling of recognition and a sense of shared animalia. In High Society, I again focus on the individual but I also focus on couples, families and the group - sometimes photographing more than 300 budgerigars as they perch on bare tree branches. Presented together like this, the uniformity of the flock strips the birds of their individuality. This presentation of the birds as leaves or blossoms positions the budgerigars in both the world of plant and animal. High Society is on now at @olsen_gallery for two more weeks until 9 November. It then travels to New York City @olsengruin from 13 November 2019 until 6 January 2020. Opening reception Friday 15 November 6-9pm.
Artwork: Blue Blossoms 2. Large and Giant sizes. Limited edition of 8 and 6 respectively. The story of the budgerigar is one of the most striking visual statements on our role in evolution by un-natural selection. It is evolution sped up. A two-coloured bird (green and gold) that was native to Australia was exported to England in 1840 and eventually became the most popular domestic pet in the world, appearing in numerous different colours. In fact, many people associate budgies with being pets rather than a bird that has its origins in the wild. Charles Darwin said: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” High Society is on now in Sydney until Saturday 9 November 2019 @olsen_gallery High Society then travels to New York 13 November 2019 - 6 January 2020 @olsengruin Join me: Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Something that is a lot of fun is listening to people talk about the portraits. In a serious discussion about this portrait of ‘Celery’, Paddy suggested that he was doing Deniro/Taxi Driver “Are you talking to me?” But Dale said “No, he’s that waiter who’s asking you if you’d like another drink but indicating with his expression that you’ve already had quite enough.” The exhibition is open in Sydney until the 9th of November @olsen_gallery
Thank you! to to everyone who joined me on Thursday night to launch my High Society exhibition in Sydney. I was so happy to meet so many new people and see old friends. I had a fantastic time and am tired but very happy. Thanks to the @olsen_gallery team for working overtime, the bar staff and @birdinhandwine for keeping everyone topped up, @samsungau for their incredible lent Frame TVs and support, the blackbird choir for their beautiful song, and of course thank you to *you* for your love of birds. Tonight (Saturday) I am back at the @olsen_gallery for a documentary screening (Bird Nerd) with the director @poppystockell . Join us from 6pm to 8pm tonight - ask us questions.
River and Cloudy look forward to the pleasure of your company this Thursday night 6pm to 8pm for the opening reception at @olsengallery Sydney for my exhibition High Society. There is also a documentary screening and Q and A on Saturday night at @olsengallery from 6pm to 8pm. Limited edition artwork size 91cm x 72cm. Sydney High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-8pm Q and A and Documentary, Saturday 19 October 6-8pm @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Meet The Tweets. Artwork size 91cm x 72cm. Cover birds - @sydneymorningherald Spectrum today. Thanks to journalist Neha Kale. Sydney High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-8pm @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Six of the eighteen new works in my upcoming exhibition (next week) ‘High Society’ feature flocks of birds in trees. This one is ‘Autumn Leaves’. I hope this series hints at the relationship between birds and trees. They depend on each other for survival. @olsen_gallery opening Thursday 17th October @olsengruin opening Friday 15th November
It’s time to invite you into a secret High Society of birds. ‘High Society’ spans 17 new artworks being individual portraits, couples, one family, through to flocks of birds in trees as well as my video art. Different artworks vary in physical size from this, the smallest, through to giant works. This is Coral no 2: 91 x 72cm (36” x 28”) / edition of 30. Edition 1-10 is reserved for @olsen_gallery Sydney exhibition, edition 11-20 reserved for @olsengruin New York exhibition, and edition 21 - 30 for the rest of the world. Enquiries to the galleries. I enjoyed working with this baby budgerigar so much that Coral appears twice in my show - a different portrait at a larger size...but more of that later. Looking forward to seeing you. PS. Documentary Bird Nerd: the art of Leila Jeffreys is on ABC TV in Australia Sunday at 2.30pm. Sydney High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-8pm @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
@poppystockell is a filmmaker that asked if I would be ok with her making a documentary about my work. Being someone that likes to be behind the camera the whole idea was terrifying to me. Then I spent time with her and @the_aaron_smith (Director of photography) and @tania_lambert (Camera operator) and @_ohcecilia_ (Producer) and @nick_wales (Composer) and @nikkistevens (Editor). What I learnt was that I was in such good hands and the extraordinary hard work that goes into creating a documentary. After years of work it finally debuts in Australia this Sunday on ABC at 2.30pm and from then on iview. @abc_arts @abctv @kaarakin @tarongazoo
In the final throes of preparations for my upcoming exhibition ‘High Society’. Please join me for the openings: Sydney High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-8pm @olsen_gallery New York High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-9pm @olsengruin
Thank you to @arteditmagazine for the interview and support. If you head over to their page you can find it via their link in bio.
Seeing people watch my new video artwork ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’ @sydneycontemporary @olsen_gallery has been a dream realised. Making this work was a huge undertaking where quality was never compromised. It was filmed in 4k (4 times as many pixels as an HD TV) on the most advanced slow motion camera in the world and is displayed on the best 4k QLED (quantum dots to emit light) screen. A special thank you goes to John Fragiadakis and @samsungau - I contacted them to ask if they would help me with the technology and they have been incredibly generous in lending and installing the Frame TV. Sydney Contemporary is on today and tomorrow. This work is also part of my High Society exhibition in October in Sydney @olsen_gallery and November in New York @olsengruin
@sydneycontemporary has opened its doors. You can see my video art piece ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.’ Brilliant to show alongside such a great stable of artists @olsen_gallery
My upcoming exhibition 'High Society’ has challenged me to create what at first I thought might be impossible. It began when I noticed how a flock of native Australian budgerigars look like leaves on a tree. Looking closer I saw individuals, couples, and families – a secret High Society. I wanted to capture that society in a studio which lead me down a five year path of planning and hard work to capture what was in my imagination. Budgies were the subject of my first solo exhibition some nine years ago – this new work includes large format portraits but also for the first time flocks of birds in trees and a video art piece made by working with over 300 budgerigars in a studio. You can see sneak preview of my video art piece @sydneycontemporary 12-15 September. It is entitled ’Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’. A beautiful quote by author Gary Snyder. My exhibition dates are: Sydney @olsen_gallery High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-9pm New York @olsengruin High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-8pm