Leandri Erlank is an exciting artist from Cape Town. Since her graduation from Stellenbosch university she has been on the move, creating a name for herself in the art industry. She has done various exhibitions and has also worked in France for Louis Janse Van Vuuren and also more recently been art assistant to Lionel Smit.
We caught up with Leandri as she is getting ready for another exhibition in Stellenbosch on the 25th of May 2018 at Absolut Art Gallery.
What themes do your pursue in your art?
Although my art varies greatly in medium and concept, there seems to be a main theme surrounding all the work. I find myself continuously going back to the theme of 'Becoming', whether it's Becoming Animal through the process of art-making, or finding myself and Becoming the artist in the process of art-making.
It's about depicting a bigger truth and communicating in a way that I will never be able to do verbally. For me it's all about creating unpretentious and strong pieces- while allowing the viewer to experience an emotional connection towards the work.
Who is currently your favourite artist?
Francis Bacon, Marlene Dumas and Nandipha Mtambo
What is your creative process?
For me to create a piece of work I need to be able to make a mess and completely lose myself on the task at hand. I struggle to really focus and get into my work when there are people around, so I generally prefer to be alone when creating.
I recently moved into my first studio where I can close the door, play music (which is crucial) and create without worrying about disturbing other people or making a mess. Playing music while working allows me to forget about time and just focus on the project I am busy with. Oh, and I cannot work on an empty stomach!!
What are your goals for 2018?
My biggest goal for 2018 is to come to a point where I can solely focus on my art. At the moment I still have a part time job, which is great for stability and rent, but I would love to be able to create art on a full time basis.
So the plan for this year is to make as much art as possible and to get my work out into the world!
You get stuck in a lift, you get to choose three people who are they, and why did you choose them?
- Teddy and Chappy (they are tiny so they count as one!)
They are my 4 dogs- Bull mastiff, Rottweiler, Maltese poodle, and a Yorkie. I feel they are the only one's that will be able to keep me entertained while stuck in a lift. Let's be honest, no one enjoys lift chats.
What is your favourite medium and why?
I love being able to switch between sculpting and drawing/painting. This means that I whenever I become tired of the one medium, I can start working on something else. For my sculptures I really enjoy working with cow hides- the physical act of working and creating with my hands is very rewarding.
I find drawing and painting to be soothing and challenging at the same time and for this I mostly work with charcoal and oil paint. I only recently started working with oils, but I am starting to grow extremely fond of it. Charcoal on the other hand, is something that I have always loved and always found easy to work with. I would have to say that charcoal is my longest, although not my only favorite medium.
All of these mediums allow me to work as big as I like (the bigger the better for me). It can create quite a mess, but as I have no problem getting my hands dirty, it is more than perfect for me.
Leandri's resume is continuously growing, she is fiercely driven and professional. She is definitely an artist to keep a keen eye on.
If you are interested in leandri's works, we currently have some available at https://thegreatwallofart.com/collections/leandri-erlank