Leila Jefffreys (Papua New Guinea 1972 - )
Leila Jeffreys is an acclaimed photographic and video artist who lives in Sydney, Australia.
She is best known for captivating images of birds from Australia and around the world that explore and subvert the traditions of portraiture. Her avian subjects are photographed at human scale with a startling attention to colour, line, form and composition. For Jeffreys, birds are both medium and message. Her practice asks critical questions about anthropomorphism while highlighting the connection between humans and other animals, the sense of interdependence between all living species and the profound refuge nature provides in a frantic world.
Increasingly, Jeffreys’ work as an artist is inextricable from her concerns as an environmentalist. Working in the tradition of artist-activists that include great American Land Artists such as Robert Smithson and Agnes Denes and contemporary artists such as Ann Craven, Janet Laurence and Roe Etheridge, Jeffreys’ arresting images are the result of years-long periods of research, exploration and investigation. The artist collaborates with conservationists, ornithologists and sanctuaries around the world to find her subjects before forging an intimate relationship with the birds that she photographs
Jeffreys’ practice is characterised by a sense of curiosity, openness and an unwavering moral vision. But it’s also driven by an aesthetic rigour and a line of artistic inquiry that deepens with each new body of work
written by Neha Kale