Leesa is a figurative artist who writes when the grief is too overwhelming to paint and paints when she can’t find the words, pouring her emotions onto the canvas.
Art has been her therapy and catharsis through the living nightmare of child loss, painting and writing her journey through trauma to find the spiritual feminine.
Drawing portraits since her teens, Leesa decided to follow her passion for art and fashion and use real faces as her canvas, winning Hair and Makeup Artist of the Year 2003. Having worked on many famous faces, fashion, television and bridal, she started painting faces on canvas in 2016 as a way to deal with the death of her beautiful daughter Star Dawn.
Inspired by fashion, mythology, and the occult, Leesa’s work addresses feminism, trauma, gender and notions of beauty. Starting her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2020, Leesa has pushed the boundaries of her practice exploring different techniques and mediums. The growth in her practice shows in her latest pieces using symbolism, textiles and collage as a narrative for her life journey.
One of the highlights of Leesa’s career was an artist residency at Chateau Orquaveau, France, in 2019. Living at the chateau for four weeks with artists from around the world was a dream come true and an experience she will never forget. She was also Vice President for RedWest Creative Co-op, which was extremely rewarding and provided many opportunities to learn skills that will help her career as an artist.
Leesa has participated in several group exhibitions, finally having her first solo show in 2021 at BlackCat Gallery. Leesa hopes to empower the feminine identity and strengthen the feminist discourse through her art by painting strong, beautiful women who inspire. Painting faces, either on canvas or in the flesh, will always be a constant source of pleasure and her true passion!
Leesa acknowledges the Wadawurrung, Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land where she lives and creates. She pays respect to the wisdom and diversity of the elders past, present and emerging and acknowledges sovereignty was never ceded.
Always was - Always will be!
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
2020 - Commenced Master of Fine Art at RMIT Melbourne
2019 - I am an Artist at Arts Assist South Melbourne
2017 - Oils one on one with Caroline Esbenshade
2016 - Acrylics Workshop with Caroline Esbenshade
- Life Drawing Classes at Saltwater Community Centre
2014 - Diploma of Cosmetic Tattooing
2003 - Certificate II in Makeup Artistry
- Certificate in Dress Style Hair
2021 - Co-curate, organise and promote RedWest $50-$500 group exhibition
2020 - Curate, organise and promote RedWest Artist Aid Bushfire Relief Art Auction/Exhibition
2019 - Voted as Vice President for Red West Creative Co operative
- Co-curate, organise and promote RedWest PrimoRed group exhibition
- Artist in Residence at Chateau Orquevaux France 2nd to 30th May
2021 - RedWest PrimoRed 2 Group Exhibition 2nd - 23rd July at C & H Gallery, Melbourne
- Solo Exhibition ‘The Seven (not so) Deadly Sins’ at Black Cat Gallery 18th - 28th February
- RedWest Group Exhibition $50-$500 at Sunshine Art Space
2019 - NOW, WEST Group Exhibition 15th - 23rd November Longspace Gallery
- RedWest PrimoRed Group Exhibition 8th Nov - 7th Dec C&H Gallery
- All The Things That Remain Group Exhibition September NOIR Darkroom
2016 - Throw Up Your Art Exhibition- Colourbox Studios
2020 - Missy pet portrait for Katelyn Matheson
Double pet portrait for Jo Hall
Grandparents portrait for private collector
2019 - Bailey pet portrait for Katelyn Matheson
2018 - Libertee De la Femme for private collector
- Joker and Haley Quinn for private collector
- Pretty Girls Kisses for private collector
2017 - Wall Art for Cake Creations by Kate Cake shop
GRANTS AND AWARDS
2019 - Shortlisted in the Wyndham Art Prize
2018 - Denis Diderot (A-i-R) Grant Artist in Residence at Chateau Orquevaux France May 2019
- Community Pathways Scholarship Grant from Wyndham City Council
2003 - Hair and Makeup Artist of the Year
PUBLICATIONS AND REVIEWS
2021 - Star Weekly for first solo exhibition at BlackCat Gallery
2020 - Star Weekly for RedWest Artist Aid Bushfire Relief Art Auction/Exhibition
2019 - Star Weekly for primoRed group exhibition
2018 - Wyndham Star Weekly for Chateau Orquevaux
- Article and video in Our Voice - Mercy Health Newsletter
2017 - Artworks published on Galphia online gallery www.galphia.com
- Published interview and art in Not Random Art Magazine
- RED Redux installation art for Wyndham City “Heart of Armour”
2019 - MAVA Collective
2018 - RedWest Creative Co-op
Articles and Interviews
Please get in touch for more information about Leesa Gray-Pitt, to discuss commissions, possible collaborations, or for any inquiries regarding artwork or hair and makeup.