BORN 1947 Melbourne, Victoria
Caulfield Institute of Technology
From an early age he showed a passion for drawing and painting; in his father’s hardware shop in Melbourne he would sit at the counter drawing for hours at a time, much to the customers’ amusement.
In his early teens, he made copies of his favourite artists’ work; da Vinci , Rembrandt, Van Eyck; these were the people that provided endless fascination for any young artist. It was about this time that Leigh sold his first painting, a nude study, for the sum of $400 dollars, which seemed like a fortune in 1963.
After four years of study at Caulfield Institute of Technology, he graduated in1967 with a Diploma of Fine Art in Painting. While there, he was awarded the annual prize three years running. Several years of working in commercial photography followed, travelling to Europe and South East Asia on various assignments. Exhibitions of photography and large abstract paintings at Consortium Galleries in Adelaide attracted favourable reviews.
In 1983 Leigh moved to Perth to help set up a production company for the construction and painting of theatre sets. The years that followed saw him painting 20 metre wide cloths for the Australian Ballet, full sets for the West Australian Ballet and Opera, and the Australian Opera, and in addition, pursuing a career as an artist, exhibiting at Perth Galleries.
Over the last few years the success of his landscape and seascape paintings has allowed him do devote his full time to the pursuit of excellence that began many years ago with a young boy fascinated by the astonishing technical skill shown by the Masters.
“My work is primarily concerned with the representation of those areas of the natural world that engage me, especially the elemental quality of shorelines…the meeting of land and water in all its variety. Since my early teens my two main passions have been painting and photography and the work that I have been doing for the past ten years or so has been a very satisfying converging of those two disciplines. Through the “eye” of the camera I can explore the possibilities inherent in a landscape, then sift through the images, sometimes combining several until I am satisfied with a final reference. Then comes the challenging but always enjoyable process of “re-presenting” this image in paint. Painters who have influenced me would have to include John Singer Sargent, Caspar David Freidrich and Fredric Church, but I also admire the work of artists as diverse as Anselm Keifer, Sigmar Polke, Pierre Bonnard, Antonio Tapies and Odd Nerdrum.”
2009 Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney
2009 Linton and Kay Gallery, Perth
2008 Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney
2007 Linton and Kay Gallery, Perth
2002 Melbourne on Hay Gallery, Perth
2001 Centenary of Federation Kings Park Calendar
2000 WA Print Award exhibition, Moores Building, Fremantle
1998 Aspects of Fremantle, Moores Building, Fremantle
1996 Perth Galleries, group show of paintings
1995 Perth Galleries, solo exhibition of paintings
1994 Perth Galleries, solo exhibition of paintings
1993 Perth Galleries, solo exhibition of paintings
1980 Consortium Galleries, Adelaide, group show of paintings
1979 Consortium Galleries, Adelaide, group show of paintings
1978 Consortium Galleries, Adelaide, solo exhibition of photography
Winner, Wanneroo Art Prize 1995
Represented in private and corporate collections in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Singapore, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.
“Leigh spent one day in Sydney capturing photographs of the landscape he visited in search of inspiration for a new series of paintings. The light, the weather and the atmosphere … read more →
Leigh Hewson-Bower is a refreshing talent who pushes the boundaries of the realist genre to great heights. Exhibition Opens 22nd August and concludes 7th September.