Exhibition of New Works by Australian Photographic Artist Leila Jeffreys Opens at Olsen GruinArt Daily December 19, 2019
Jose Villareal_view full article online
NEW YORK, NY.- Olsen Gruin is presenting High Society, an exhibition of new works by Australian photographic artist, Leila Jeffreys. Her second solo exhibition since 2017, High Society is on view at Olsen Gruin until January 19, 2020.
Revisiting the world of the Budgerigar – the subject of her first solo exhibition some nine years ago – Leila Jeffreys’ High Society includes her signature large format portraits and sees her exploring new territory. Working with over 300 budgerigars in a studio High Society reveals a beautiful society of birds through still photography and three panel video art.
Acclaimed for her empathetic artistic vision and intuitive approach, Leila Jeffreys has again captured a vivid sense of personality in her feathered subjects. Each work forges an emotional and sympathetic bond with the audience as Leila Jeffreys establishes parallels between the ‘flock’ and our human concept of ‘community’; a commentary on our need to preserve wildlife societies and their homes.
“There exists a symbolic relationship between birds and trees,” says Leila Jeffreys. “Their survival depends on each other. We depend on them. High Society serves as a visual reminder to leave wild places for these other societies to enjoy, as well as our own.”
Leila Jeffreys (b. 1972) was born in Papua New Guinea and raised in Perth, Australia. Thanks to her adventurous parents she spent much of her childhood travelling and grew up surrounded by wildlife and forest both in Australia and abroad. This sparked her interest in the natural world. Jeffreys works with conservationists, ornithologists and bird sanctuaries to separate her charismatic subjects from their natural surroundings and photograph them with a high degree of technical skill. She is an exhibiting artist with gallery representation in Sydney, London and New York. Her work has also been featured in the iconic Bergdorf Goodman department store windows in New York City. Her book Birdland was launched at Australia’s National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. A documentary titled Bird Nerd: the Art of Leila Jeffreys will debut on the film festival circuit mid-2019 ahead of its television premiere on the ABC later this year. The film is written and directed by Walkley Award winner Poppy Stockell and was commissioned by ABC Arts.
“High Society is the result of more than five years of planning and commitment; a pledge to making the impossible possible. It began when I noticed how a flock of native Australian budgerigars look like leaves on a tree. Looking closer I saw individuals, couples, and families – a secret High Society.” - Leila Jeffreys