Leslie Sweder

Time, place, memory, relations, the movement of energy … the ephemeral nature of all things… poetry… These are the things that move me to work.

Hi 🙂

I am an interdisciplinary artist with a practice that includes public interventions, painting, collaborative drawing, photography and video. Dialoguing directly with my environment in the form of interventions is something that comes naturally to me but I do maintain a love for the tradition of painting. Painting is an active process, a way of thinking about and working through things and it has become my primary form of note taking.

I am originally from rural Northern Ontario where the many lakes and wetlands of the Canadian Shield managed to imprint themselves on me. I carried the love of these places to Southern Alberta when my family moved here years ago. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that I began to explore the landscape along the Bow river, and study it through my work. All I knew when I started was that I really needed to be in that space along the water. This is where my focus remains today.

Alone in this landscape I am able to experience both solitude and intimacy. In order to express this extraordinary paradox, I take notes through traditional plein air painting and photography. I also recently began to play with video, making little actuality films, and on occasion, I do some sound recordings. It is in this manner that I am able to document the small movements, those small quiet openings that serve to create a direct and intimate connection with my environment.

I am currently located on the Confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. It is situated in the very heart of Calgary, Canada on Treaty 7 land whose First Peoples I acknowledge with respect and gratitude for this marvellous place where I live and work.

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