Who is Leonie Leivenzon?
Wife, mother, daughter, sister, doctor, hypnotherapist and… artist. All these things combine to make me who I am. It is as an artist, however, that I feel that I am defined purely through myself rather than through my relationships to others.
What would you do differently to what you do now?
I don’t know yet! I believe we all make the best decisions and choices we can given our personal experiences and understanding of the circumstances at the time. As our learning and experience grows, so our response to the world changes.
Who inspires you and why?
From a personal perspective I am inspired by my late father, he arrived in Australia with nothing and devoted his life to creating a secure environment for his family. Without him, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be doing what I am doing. Professionally, there are so many artists who are inspiring. I love the work of Mirka Mora and Jesse Reno. Both are characters who have done things their own unique way.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
My mantra is that everyone automatically has my respect, and people only earn my disrespect. I try to make a difference in some small way by treating people with respect. Each year, I also raise money for charity by hosting an Artist Open House Fundraiser. I open up my home and studio and sell my art giving a percentage of the proceeds to a different charity each year. This year I am raising money for the Y-House Foundation. Founded by the 2015 Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year, Georgia Retallick – the Y-House Foundation is committed to providing accommodation, care and rehabilitation options for young people with serious brain and spinal injuries and degenerative diseases.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
We have a family beach house on the Mornington Peninsula. I walk through the door and immediately relax. It has an old workshop out the back, which we have converted into a studio with a wonderful outlook onto the garden. There I have both the physical and mental space to be creative.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We have a family dinner every Friday night with anywhere from 10 to 25 people coming along. It is a mini tourist attraction all of it’s own!
What are you currently reading?
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. Confronting while at the same time engrossing so that it simultaneously makes you feel uncomfortable but you can’t stop reading.
What are you currently listening to?
Confession time – I love to listen the classic hits and pop songs from the 80s and 90s.
Acceptance. By accepting your situation you release yourself from the struggle and fight. You are more able to live in and enjoy the moment.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully acceptance and therefore happiness!
Leonie in association with The Y-House Foundation present an Artist Open House: 18 – 21 August 2016. For more information, visit: www.leoniel.com.au for details.
Image: Leonie Leivenzon