Voices of the Delta: Sherry Leedy

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Sherry Leedy, Tilt, 2017, soft pastel on paper, 30 x 34 inches

My still life drawings are based on direct observation. I am interested in what is discovered and revealed during the process of slow looking and response over a long period of time, as the drawing evolves, creating itself, slowly, one mark at a time.

My intention is to convey my deeply felt connection to the world, beauty and life that is all around us. Seeing and feeling, observation, ideas, friendship, nature and day-to-day interactions inspire and sustain my art practice.

The tradition of Vanitas and the symbolic meaning of objects has a long and rich history in art, one with which I feel connected. The possibility that subject matter carries iconic meaning, in addition to visual power as form, pattern, color, light, and line, provokes and keeps me in the studio late at night.

Equally compelling is the pure visual challenge of seeing and striving to translate experience into a drawing that has a life of its own. Some of the objects that I draw have a personal significance. Other times, the chance meeting of unlikely objects catches me. There is a power in these artifacts of the recent past, in their human familiarity and strangeness.

Always, the work is about the relationship between form, light, color and space, often independent of any other meaning known to me. The stuff of the still life – apples and oranges, green glass and blue, mirrors and glass funnels – are activated by light and seem as though actors on stage in a familiar yet unknown performance.

Making mark after mark of pastel as soft as butter, I strive to make visible the everyday, unseen and overlooked, as I continue to explore my place in the world.

– Sherry Leedy

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