"MerMx" by Patricia Gail Leidl
Polymath (noun) from the Greek, meaning a person of wide knowledge or learning.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1962, Patricia Gail Leidl has led an extraordinarily peripatetic and multifaceted life. A BFA graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC, Patricia has been a professional illustrator, journalist, editor, university lecturer and multi-published Kirkus Review starred author, election monitor, armed conflict researcher, gender violence advocate, has worked with the WHO and UN Population Fund, the World Bank, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, in countries as varied as Switzerland, Germany, US, Mexico, Guatemala, Yemen, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and many, many more. She is currently based in Victoria, BC.
She has been drawing as far back as she can remember, first on walls and floors, later on paper. Born the youngest of nine children and raised by a single mother amidst difficult circumstances, art gave her solace and a sense of belonging. Despite the size of her family, her art work has always examined themes of solitude and loss. Perhaps because of the intense topic, she is attracted to bright colors and loves humor and her work plays with both.
Influences range from the Mexico Surrealist school to the iconography of the late Middle Ages and contemporary Russia and the traditional artistry of Yemen and Afghanistan. If previous lives exist, then Patricia feels she was an icon painter.
Patricia has created her art on an iPad for years. She dislikes most computer-generated art and uses her iPad as if drawing on paper or using canvas. She doesn’t cut and paste, use clip art or any of the other techniques that give most digital art an inauthentic computer-generated feel. Everything is hand-drawn. Patricia doesn’t consider her work to be digital because it looks exactly like work produced on paper or canvas. The advantage of digital however is that mistakes can more easily corrected and that an iPad is more portable than canvas or paper, which is critical for how she lives her globetrotting life of advocacy.
A message to the viewer from Patricia – “For me, art is as much an interaction with the self as it is with the artist. Others have spotted meaning in my work that I never even conceived of while creating it. For me, art is very much an expression of the subconscious and therefore an act of discovery that often comes through the medium of other’s perception. It should speak for itself and by itself. I’m just the conduit.”
Printed on archival paper, hand numbered limited series of 150