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About the Artist

At the Epicentre

Leonie Chinn lived in an artists’ community, instigated by South Australian artist, Roland Weight, between 1993 and 1996 in Byron Bay, northern New South Wales.

The Epicentre, the dilapidated remains of the Byron Bay whaling station on Belongil Beach, housed approximately 20 artists from around Australia at that time, engaged in nocturnal art making, classical music, impromptu theatrics and general hilarity. It was here that she was introduced to drawing techniques from the Western fine art and Eastern mark making traditions.

The Epicentre days ended with the sale of the multi million dollar property and the splintering of the arts community into smaller groups and households. The art making continued nevertheless and Leonie Chinn exhibited in regional art exhibitions and private galleries in northern New South Wales, studied classical dance, and was offered a place at university to formally study fine arts.

Philosophy

Chinn opted to focus her academic studies on Philosophy, culminating in a first class honours degree from the University of Queensland and the offer of a scholarship to undertake a PhD. Her research areas included Kant’s aesthetics and the metaphysics of form.

Chinn tutored the Philosophy and Art course at the University of Queensland which provided an introduction to aesthetics within the tradition of European philosophy with reference to the aesthetic theories of Plato, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Benjamin & Adorno.

The Return

In 2014 Chinn’s perception of reality was radically revised as she began to appreciate and become more attuned to the subtle movement of energy and play of consciousness within herself and her environment.  This change was accompanied by an outpouring of creative activity and, after a hiatus of approximately ten years, she returned to drawing and painting.

Once again she had the good fortune to meet people with knowledge of traditions and practices of interest to her, in particular Kashmir Shaivism, and in 2015 travelled to India to deepen her understanding of these practices.

The Work

From a formal perspective, Chinn’s drawings combine elements of gestural, tonal and contour drawing techniques, using natural marks and figure describing line work.

The human subject, in states of spiritual exaltation, expansion and contraction, continues to be the primary object of fascination. At its most satisfying, Chinn consider art making a devotional practice.

Chinn is interested in drawing as a process for revealing levels of consciousness beyond/beneath ordinary awareness. She maintains an energetic art practice just outside of Brisbane, Queensland and regularly exhibits her work in solo and group shows in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales.

“Over time, drawing has progressively developed as an independent medium in itself and Chinn’s artistic practice is no exception to this pattern. Her body of work embodies the process of drawing in both literal and metaphorical terms, converting the preliminary sketch into the final piece. Raising what is typically coined as the ‘ordinary’ to the extraordinary.” (Excerpt from review by Amanda Brachio)

Leonie Chinn