Flying High with Leila Jeffreys
There’s an age-old maxim in the art world that you should never work with animals or children, but that hasn’t stopped Sydney-based artist Leila Jeffreys from dedicating her photographic practice to birds!
An undertaking such as this can be challenging, she concedes. But the rewards are truly boundless. The key to making it all work? “Patience,” she tells us, “extreme patience! Some birds are like seasoned models, they are a delight to work with. Others are naturally fast-moving, and that provides a lot of challenges.” The results of Leila’s extreme patience speak for themselves. Her unique combination of perseverance, technical skill and a deep affection for her avian subjects produces works which are truly captivating.
Her visually stunning portraits offer a dynamic insight into a world of vibrant plumage, vivacious personalities and life in the sky. They are a celebration of birds of all shapes and sizes and an ode to their majesty, power and spirit.
And with numerous local and international exhibitions to her name, Leila shows no signs of coming in for a landing herself anytime soon. She was recently invited by the CEO of the Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), Brad Krevoy and his wife Susie to exhibit at their private estate in Santa Monica.
“They put on a grand soiree with cocktails, catering, valet parking and over 200 glamorous guests,” says the artist. “It was like nothing I have ever experienced before, a true Hollywood experience!” Leila says.
Her portraits will also be exhibited throughout November, in an impressive outdoor exhibition at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Her current exhibition ‘Ornithurae Volume 1’ which shows at Tim Olsen’s NYC space Olsen Gruin from 13th October to 12th November 2017, sees Leila turn her lens on the humble pigeons of New Guinea and Australia.
Dressed to impress in natural plumages of emerald green, deep purple, orange and fuchsia, these pigeons are worlds away from the ubiquitous street dwellers so many of us have come to know and revile.
“Art has the ability to change people’s perceptions,” says the artist. “For those that may have forgotten to marvel at the natural world, I hope my works are a quiet reflection on just how extraordinary, powerful and ultimately precious wildlife is. Even a bird that might have been ignored, like the pigeon.”