Day five in our ‘Love the Arts’ feature we meet artist Laurie Glenny. Since graduating as a Fine Artist in 1994, she is never without a paintbrush in her hands, but often with a commercial design or teaching ‘hat’ on. However, after a bout of illness in 2009, she took some time off to focus purely on her painting and this culminated in a solo show, “En-Route” at Artspace Durban in July 2010. After that, I kept getting pulled back into the design world and that of teaching until the end of 2018, when I decided to take a massive leap of faith and pursue painting full time as a professional artist.
She recently was commissioned to paint up a massive big baobab which was almost twice her height, so that really stirred up an overwhelming desire for her to paint more of these majestic, magnificent giants, but deep down she has always wondered what it would be like to follow in the steps of Edgar Degas and capture some of those behind-the-scenes views of dancers from backstage at one of those fabulous world class ballet companies…but then there is also Monet’s garden in Giverny, “What I would give to stand where he once did and enjoy some en plein air painting!”
Laurie currently has a solo exhibition Finding Beauty, Inspiring Hope now on at Stepping Stone Studios in Assagay. This is her second solo exhibition, but she have also exhibited at a previous KZNSA members exhibition and at The Hilton Arts Festival in 2019, as well as a group show at Studio 3, Durban. Asked if she could exhibit anywhere in the world, her response was: Without a doubt, The Lincoln Centre in New York, after seeing pictures of Dustin Yellin’s “Psychogeographies” on display on the Main Foyer, I thought to myself, “Now wouldn’t that be something!?”
What do you love about your craft?
Apart from the fact that “art provides the only way to run away without leaving home” (according to Twyla Tharp), the very best thing about being an artist is the personal transformation I undergo every time I’ve spent time behind my easel with my paintbrushes and paints. I find that I usually walk into the studio one way, and leave another…a totally transformed, happier, more fulfilled, far less grumpy me! (And I reckon my family will be the first to agree with me!)
When last where you actually part of a live gallery opening?
The last in-person exhibition opening I attended was Emma Jacobs’s “All Things Bright and Beautiful” show opening on the 9th of March 2020, at The Foyer, Studio 3, in Durban.
If you could change anything for 2021 – what would it be OR What do you wish for in 2021?
What immediately comes to mind would be the wish to eradicate poverty, feed hungry tummies, and restore financial incomes devastated by the pandemic, and whilst all of these things are important and really tug at my heartstrings, if I were to have one wish for 2021, it would be for every soul to be touched by the life changing power of nothing other than amazing grace.
The exhibition runs until the end of February. Visitors are welcome to visit the Stepping Stone Studios and Gallery.
Address: 2 Castle Rd (entrance corner of Assagay and Castle Rd)
To book to view the exhibition or join the walkabout: Laurie: 084 206 1345; Greg: 083 946 9094
She is also exhibiting at the new Gallery in Ballito’s Lifestyle Centre.