• Genevieve Leavold

Moving Without Moving - An Origin Story

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Portrait of the artist as a young child

I was a dreamy child, most of my family nicknames and school reports centred around this fact – featherhead, head in the clouds, gentle Gen and ‘Genevieve would probably do better in class if she would pay more attention to what was going on inside the room not outside of the window

In hindsight it seems obvious that I was destined to become an artist as my primary focus in life was creating imaginary worlds.

At school I was always longing to be transported away, I didn’t like the restriction of sitting and paying attention to dry subjects and abstracted words. When I was not concentrating, I was far away, either in my own head, somewhere offered by the view from the window, or beyond.

In the first year of Middle school our classroom had a big window with a view out on to the playing field and further to the farm fields beyond. Those farm fields were (and still are) one of my favourite places in this world, three interconnected fields with a big old horse-chestnut tree in the middle one. Many happy days were spent walking there and playing when I was a child. Trapped in the classroom I used to imagine myself racing over the playing field, and leaping over the hedge and launching through the tall dark poplars at the end – moving faster and faster, like a giant hare leaping and flying over the landscape.

The Water Dancer - 2014 Genevieve Leavold

Lighter than Air - Oil on Canvas 2019

I wanted to be light and fast, I was not physically built that way (more cart-horse than race horse) but in my head I was always moving and dancing though space. I learned to create this imagined racing, swirling movement in images, translating imagined movement into doodles, shapes, swirls and ribbons of colour on a page.

When I reflect on why I became an artist, and also where the impulse to create the soft, gestural forms that make up the body of my work came from, that memory is the one which floods in; that imagined journey – gliding through the fields and trees of my childhood is there, as rich as reality, in my mind.

The sense of movement is something which remains central to all my work, all my paintings are feel alive to me, moving without moving - a reification of the internal dance of the soul.


All rights reserved ©2019  Genevieve Leavold.