Opening Conversation

Gallery Tour

Why Flowers Matter’ is an exceptional collection of beautiful and tranquil floral themed pieces by south coast artist Wendi Leigh. Wendi’s paintings are quirky, contemporary and capture a certain essence of place, expressing something both specific and universal – particularly our love of the Australian Magpie.

The geometry and abstract pattern in her detail offers a warm confidence that brings in luxurious colours in unusual, subtle combinations. Wendi Leigh’s art diversifies as it focuses on a distinctive style she created and calls – ‘the overt distortion of real imagery’. It crosses between reality and abstraction and uses shapes and colours to describe movement, light and shade and illusion. She finds this creative tool a means for interpreting contemporary experiences which will become part of life’s history.

Wendi’s work is an exploration of perception, identity and memory. Her subject matter holds underlying stories of hope and joy in a time where anxiety and disillusion of worldwide issues hold many people in negative frameworks. Wendi’s work, painted in soothing, sometimes vivid colours and shapes, brings a certain peace to the viewer, which in turn renews a sense of wellbeing and happiness. Wendi says she sees beauty in all things, and it reflects in her work as tranquil and endearing within her subject choices. Her love of animals and Australian fauna and flora is frequently referenced.

Based in Wollongong, Wendi Leigh is a re-emerging artist after a twelve year break during which she designed and manufactured her own prints into women’s’ fashions. Her art practice started in 1989 and led to the creation of the O.D.O.R.I art movement in 2019 that describes her styles as ‘overt distortion of real imagery’. It has been likened to digital art but is a personal derivation of simplifying detail to the minimum and using colour to suggest light and form. The colours used are unique and universally appealing, no doubt derived from her fashion-design talents and reflected in their aesthetic, before taking up the brushes again.

Wendi has won many prizes and exhibited in over 27 shows. She currently shows her work in four galleries throughout NSW and Queensland.

Being a full time artist Wendi devotes much of her time to experimentation with gouache on board and paper. The gouache work utilises the flat opaqueness of the medium, which has been likened to silk screen printing. The flippant outline line of the brushwork suggests rhythm and emotion within the imagery. The subjects include a narrative that records current life from urban sprawl, Australian flora and fauna, social interaction and household animals. These subjects hold the underlying stories of hope and joy in a time where anxiety and disillusion of a worldwide pandemic holds many people in negative frameworks. Wendi’s work, painted in soothing colours and shapes, brings a certain peace to the viewer, which in turn renews a sense of wellbeing and happiness.