Whether surrounded by nature or in a sundrenched corner of her Darlinghurst studio, Bronte Leighton-Dore is inspired by the joy that comes from being wholly in the ‘now’. Informed by an abiding interest in psychology, spirituality and Buddhist theory, her painting practice captures a profound desire to be in the moment and appreciative of her surroundings.
Leighton-Dore works quickly. Across both her landscapes and still lifes there is a sense of urgency, a need to capture the transitory beauty before light fades and flowers wilt. Her landscapes begin as plein air studies which are then recreated in the studio by painting on the floor rather than an easel. Working from above gives a sense of what extends beyond the canvas – the land and movement beyond the frame. The same sense of time and place is achieved in her still lifes by ensuring her studio arrangements are temporal and constantly shifting. Filled edge to edge with colour and texture, these works hero quirky combinations of everyday objects, elevating the mundane to something equally as picturesque and uplifting as the Australian bush.
This duality in her practice, the focus on both interior and exterior spaces, speaks to the dualities across all areas of life – natural worlds and manmade, stillness and movement, flux and repose – the human need to find balance in a constantly changing world, and the shared experience between herself and her audience.
Bronte Leighton-Dore graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the National Art School in Sydney in 2018. Highly Commended in the 2019 Paddington Art Prize, she was a finalist in the Wynne Art Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales the same year. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since 2017, including the National Art School’s showing at Sydney Contemporary in 2019.