Leda is a gallery based in Newcastle, NSW. Created and ran by two creative ladies, Holly & Aleesha. Enjoy the chat as they answer questions, I believe, for two people to have such a beautiful, captivating space which holds space for international and local artists, must be pretty darn interesting, don't you? Very grateful to feature such inspiring ladies & I love the story of how they created LEDA.
Who are the faces behind Leda? and a little bit about yourselves?
Leda Gallery is a collaboration of both Holly Wilson and Aleesha Hardie.
Visual art and creative writing major Holly Wilson has a continual and evolving focus on her multi medium art practices. She connects with abstract expressionism and minimalism which she incorporates into her individual practice. Wilson’s family worked remotely around Australia, giving her the opportunity to experience life out of the usual structures of childhood. These opportunities nurtured her natural desires for exploration, curiosity and creativity.
She anticipated any opportunity to visit her grandmother who was an antiques and art dealer based in Waterloo, Sydney. Here is where her deep love for art and culture first formed.
The first years of Wilson’s professional life were studying and working as a florist in the Valley. During this time she explored her passion for still life drawing and music as a singer songwriter.
Wilson made her decision to relocate to Newcastle to commence her study of creative industries. This enabled Holly to delve further into her interest of fine arts and creative writing, majoring in both subjects at the University of Newcastle.
In the midst of her bachelor degree, Wilson worked as a teacher at the Newcastle Music Academy and continued to develop her music career.
Wilsons individual art practice delves into the exploration of the relationship between femininity and nature through mixed mediums and abstract expressionism, which she says
“draws together my love of nature in its forms and appreciation for femininity. My expression gives a sense of nostalgia and comfort as a woman living in this day and age”.
A student of private art school LCI College in Collingwood, Victoria and fourth generation female artist, Aleesha Hardie studied a Bachelor of Design Art to then follow on with a year at CAE Art School in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, where abstract, figurative and life drawing become well known mediums in her daily practice.
Though her training saw her studying fine arts and spending much of her time with canvas and acrylic, she found herself intrigued with the world of filmmaking and photography. This love affair with film and creation eventually became her career, as she took on the Melbourne and international music scene as a freelance videographer and photographer, shooting editorial and band photos whilst selling her paintings privately.
As a multi talented artist living amongst the Melbourne scene, globally known for its diversity, energy and creativity, opportunity was abundant until COVID-19 forced all of Melbourne, and the world around us to slow down or even shut down. Hardie turned to her acrylics and canvas more than ever during this time, and found the same fondness for her camera within the depths of her paintings.
Aleesha comes from a long history of female artists in her family, a tie to the women before her time that is sacred to her, much like her family. A respectful relationship with art was founded early on in Aleesha’s life, emotional connections, and her authenticity to freely express herself ensures the work she creates is an accurate representation of who she is as a person.
“I find it soothing to be standing in front of a canvas for six hours, no sounds need to be heard. The only self care routine.” - Aleesha Hardie.