Our art editor Emma Jensen asks resident artist Minna Leunig some questions about her work.
Your work uses very minimal colour and often repeats the same, or similar, motifs of animals and nature in a way that is really evocative. For me, their simplicity feels like they should almost belong to parables or illustrations of where we’ve come from, does that make sense? I guess I want to know where that style comes from; what influences you?
That makes complete sense! I’ve never thought of my work in that light before, but can definitely relate to that idea. Before moving to Melbourne in 2009, I lived and grew up on a property in remote North East Victoria, surrounded by native bush land. I did then, and do now, feel a strong connection to that land, and a desire to migrate back to it some day. I suppose I am both consciously and unconsciously inspired by the spirit of that country, by its rawness, by its peacefulness and by the solitude that comes with it.
How did you come into art?
I grew up with artistic parents who encouraged the creativity in me, and so as a child I spent a lot of my time drawing, painting, playing with clay and carving small pieces of wood with a pocketknife. I lost interest during my teenage years, and only recently started drawing again. Perspective helped me to rediscover the value of creating things.
What medium do you prefer working in?
I enjoy working with simple mediums – pencil, fine liner and ink.
What do you do on those days when you don’t really feel like doing anything artistic?
Usually, if I’m feeling uninspired to draw, then I won’t draw. Fighting ones natural flow is too draining, like walking upstream. I try to work with my energies, so when I feel like creating I’ll dedicate all of my time to that, and when I don’t, I’ll find something else that needs to be done.