My work explores landscapes: emotional, psychological, geographical, and physical. I love layers and “gray areas,” so I often use collage as a medium and as a technique. I use found paper along with my own imagery to employ the lexicon of surprise, reinvention, and contrast that collage creates. Other tools I use to make my work are photography, encaustic medium, and carbon. I’m inspired by many contemporary and historic artists and movements, including the Mail Art Movement. My work often includes fragments of maps, which I’ve always been drawn to- the idea of mapping is beautiful to me. Orienting, grounding, from incredibly detailed to crude and abstract, guiding.
I am a visual artist living and working in Denver, Colorado. I was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota in 1989. The landscape was very flat. In 2008, I drove across the country with a minivan full of my possessions to Seattle, Washington to attend Cornish College of the Arts, where I completed the first year of my undergraduate study of Fine Art with emphasis in photography. In 2010, I drove back across the country the opposite direction to finish my undergraduate work at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) in Denver, CO. It was a long, lonely drive. In 2013, I completed my undergraduate work, earning a BFA summa cum laude with emphasis in photography and video from RMCAD.
I'm currently an associate member at Pirate Contemporary Art and NEXT Gallery- both in Denver's 40West Art District.
Leah Swenson. Photograph by Sierra Rettig.