Lilydale Arts

Artists living and working in the Lilydale Region

We celebrate the artists & performers living and working in the Lilydale region.   

 Leanne Hodgetts

Leanne is very visible in the main street of Lilydale, working on the mural painted poles. She loves the interaction with people, both local and visitors, and is amused at the number of times photos of her working and her work have been taken.

Leanne commented that people are interested in the stories and the way the stories and history have been weaved together in the composition and image design on each pole.

 "I have a long involvement undertaking art and craft activities with diverse communy and social groups including the aged, youth, those living in rural areas, working within educational, church and other community groups.

These activities have allowed me to pursue my strong interest in creative projects which involve and challenge people to share ideas, skills and knowledge and to pursue and achieve outcomes which can inspire and be celebrated by the wider community."

Leanne is a visual artist who has lived much of her life in this region, first at Karoola and now at Turners Marsh. She started painting in oils, but when she had the first of her three children, she changed to acrylic as it was much more practical - easier to set up, quick to dry and workable around kids. When her youngest was five, she determined to return to art as a career.

Success with a small mural commission for a community group led to other requests. She found herself with a reputation for being able to manage very challenging community projects.

One such project was a six-month mural commission both supervising and creatively working with 12 young people who had been classed as long-term unemployed. This project aimed not only to create a work of merit and develop skills in painting technique, but critically it also aimed to teach the daily skills required to be able to maintain a job. Leanne's gentle nature was put to the test, but she maintained focus and discipline. She still enjoys friendships with a number of people from this group.

With a strong community drive, Leanne has worked as an artist with the aged, with children, including very young children in an Aboriginal community in the Northern  Territory as well as with people with a range of disabilities, both physical and intellectual.

While she thrives in community work, she also has her own artistic practice. She enjoys experimenting with different mediums, finding herself spending time working in one medium, then returning to those she has not used for some years.

She has been described as being meticulous in her work, though when asked if she thought this was so, she replied, "Maybe.......". This led to a discussion about the difficulty of determining when a work was finished, and the importance that any work has to meet her standards.

Leanne has a reputation as a fine portrait painter, and she enjoys these commissions, finding each one different. She commented that she needed to be a good listener to understand what the person was hoping for and good at explaining how she wanted to paint them.

Leanne has been inspired by her artistic family, with her father active in lead-lighting and wood-work and her husband who is an art teacher and painter, but she also inspires others, not only her artistic and musical children, but also those who have come to know her. Leanne was one of the people who inspired local artists to be part of the Upper Piper Arts & Crafts Cooperative that opened in November 2011 in the Old Library in the Lilydale main street.

For Leanne, the hope for the future is for more time to work on her own artistic practice. She is planning to start working with wood, and is looking forward to a new set of challenges in mastering the very different techniques it requires. As with her paintings, it will be meticulously crafted.

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