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Stellify means to change or be changed into a star. Creation myths of nearly every ancient civilization include stories of humans transformed into constellations. My favorites are those in which a god takes pity on one of our ancient ancestors fleeing some terrible danger, and saves them by placing among the stars. I’m inspired by the persistent relevance of ancient myths; they span time to express human experience. Currently, the Voyager spacecraft is poised to become the first man-made object to leave our solar-system. Thousands of years of human progress reaching toward the heavens.
The figures in my work are multiplied in different poses, twisting, floating and falling on a ground purged of contextualizing marks. The bodies carry a feeling of contradiction between harmony and discord as they push and pull each other, forming constellations on the paper’s surface. I never pose my models; they have free reign to move in an immediate, improvised dance. This fluidity contrasts with a fastidious drawing process, where every tiny gesture and wrinkle take on great significance.
Born in 1985, Leah grew up in the rural backwoods of upstate New York, in a town with a single stop sign. Naturally, she moved to the biggest, fastest city in the USA where she received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in 2009. Since then, her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in galleries, museums, and art fairs, and discussed in publications including The Paris Review, PMc Magazine, and Visual Overture. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.