Artist Statement, Leilani Schweitzer
My work is a study in contrasts and unexpected relationships. Precise against random. Opaque to transparent. Silent but never still. A breathing still life. I believe even the best art is a mere echo of what Nature has long since perfected. My pieces follow far behind the wind as it blows over prairie grasses, the gale over waves or a breeze through trees. I am intrigued by randomness, juxtapositions and transitions. Yet my work requires precision— perfect right angles, accurate measurements and deliberate proportions. Like everything and all of us, my pieces are in a constant state of flux. In every moment, each piece is different and that moment will never happen again. The precise order and controlled measurement only becomes interesting when it is set free and transformed by a dash of chaos- the light, air and colors in the environment.
I created my first piece when I was in the depths of grief. The tedious action of cutting the paper squares along with the sound of the slicing blade was melodic, hypnotizing and harmonizing. Like making a not-so-evolved sand mandala, the process was therapeutic and healing. I loved touching the colors and still do, I am delighted by the random ways they pile on the table, creating unexpected combinations of tone and value.
Continuing with the contrasts, making my work requires hours of solitary time in my studio, but completing them needs collaboration with people who have skills and expertise far beyond my intuitive love of color. My work reminds me that chaos, change and the unexpected is what makes days, people and art interesting and complex.