Hout Bay artist Leila Garde initially studied and worked in the fashion industry. 

After a long and rewarding design career, having worked with both local retailers and International Designers & labels, she retired from the industry. Through her work, she has travelled the world extensively, and in turn has been exposed to a multitude of cultures. Although Leila has always dabbled in “creative ventures”, it was only during the 2020 Covid 19 Lockdown, at 46, that she began to paint full time.

With a “Buddhist-type” upbringing, (which she continues to practice) her work has strong philosophical leanings towards matters she feels strongly about, such as human rights and climate change, yet are presented, with a lightness of heart, serenity or a sense of humour.  This brings a subtle ambiguity to her work, a certain “yin & yang”, where polarities seem to co-exist in harmony. She paints one hundred percent by heart and mood.


As a versatile artist she has a wide “range”, continuously experimenting, trying new techniques and mediums, ever evolving and developing as an artist. As a result, she has no fixed boundaries. Her work is a confident pictorial vocabulary of bright, intense colour, yet she feels as comfortable and settled with a monochromatic palette.


Thoughtful, her work carries aspects of abstract expressionism meeting complex symbolism, and through composition, you can feel and see her considered meditation, an automatic method that brings visual order to her work, which is both spontaneous yet deliberate at the same time.

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