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I’m really pleased to kick off 2011 with my show ‘Made in Brazil’ to be held as part of the annual South American Festival at Bondi Beach. I was invited to hold a solo show as part of this popular event by Waverley Council’s Bondi Pavilion Gallery. It would be great to see you at the opening if you can make it on Wednesday February 2 –  from 6pm.

Where: Bondi Pavilion Gallery. Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach

When: February 1 to 13


Here’s what I wrote for the show:

Made in Brazil

A creative exploration of energy

Works in mixed media on paper & oil on linen (2004-10)

I was born in a small town north of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 1970. I spent my childhood living in the states of Piaui, Minas Gerais and Rio before moving to Bondi Beach with my family in 1983. I finished my schooling in Sydney and went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Art from the University of New South Wales. I have successfully exhibited since 1991 and my work has been featured in many publications and is held in private collections in Australia, Europe and South America. I am currently represented by Iain Dawson Gallery in Paddington.

These works were created in three places: my hometown in Brazil; a wild and deeply spiritual place on the NSW South Coast; and in the studio and garden of my workplace in Bondi. Every piece shares my desire to attempt to enrich my work with a more direct capturing of energy from both inside and outside of my body. This could be compared to the mountainsides near where I was born which are solid granite on the inside, but externally teeming with plants, animals, waterfalls, extreme weather. Or a submerged rock platform on the South Coast which is crawling with life: lobsters, crabs, starfish – as well as being the deathbed of the long lines of swell which travel thousands of miles from the south to be finally unloaded upon its ancient volcanic core. Then there is Bondi of course: a hard and frazzled urbanised colony tempered by sweet sea breezes and an inexplicable constant joy de vivre.

This show focuses on energy – the ‘cosmic’, creative energy that is present in our bodies as sexual energy and also in the world around us. It resonates differently in different places. I’ve deliberately chosen works spanning the last six years in which my quest to engage with this energy has been quite focussed. Hence, many of these works are on paper as opposed to the works on canvas which I usually exhibit. For me, paper lends itself to spontaneity and speed and I can move my body around differently – in a dance with my environment.

In these works I have brought the immediate environment into the work in the form of sand, earth, clay, ground rocks. I often worked outdoors– sometimes in the rain so the raindrops became part of the work too. I even tried working in the dark so I could concentrate on the energy rather than the product. I feel that a certain purity and immediacy linked to the energy at the moment has been captured in these works.

The thread that links the places where I created these works – and the energia – is a visceral force which is the core of life itself as understood by the devotees of the Dionysian religion of Ancient Greece. Dionysos tells us that life is energy. As a Brazilian this is something I deeply understand. My heritage culture naturally responds to this life-force in many ways: through Carnaval, capoeira, and the music of Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and many others. It is how we are made.

Leonardo Cremonese, Sydney, 2010

Me channelling the energy of the bush last winter

Work I will be showing