Leela Schauble's Portals envisions possible futures by looking into the past. The photographic series embarks on an exploration of potential and parallel fortunes, delving into the realms of the supernatural and the profound human yearning to know what lies beyond the present. In times of ecological, social and political uncertainty, we see a trend towards spirituality, astrology, and mystical arts –prompting Portals to explore the lengths we go to access hidden fortunes in the fabric of time.

To look at the stars is to see light years into the past and humanity has been gazing up since time immemorial constantly seeking answers. Schauble uses imagery of rockpools and the oceans to frame the vastness of space, creating collages that combine original film photography with images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The print and fabric series in turn creates mystical portals, and aims to intertwine sky and earth to transport us to distant pasts and offer glimpses into the mysteries of bygone eras.

Portals draw parallels between ancient celestial practices and contemporary endeavours, and comments on such practices as seeking guidance from fortune-tellers and astrologers. It prompts reflection on whether the past holds the key to bestowing fortunes, disasters, or guidance upon the living world, encouraging us to view our current landscapes as a form of divination.

Leela Schauble's Portals invites viewers on a visual and contemplative journey, exploring the intersection of past, present, and future. Through a captivating blend of mediums, the project encourages contemplation on the profound possibilities within the ethereal realms of time and nature.

From the artist:

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the unceded land of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, Bunurong peoples, and Budja Budja peoples on which these photographs were taken and artworks created in studio. I acknowledge our First Nations people as the first astronomers, whose ancient wisdom and celestial knowledge have profoundly shaped our understanding of the cosmos. I acknowledge their continuing care for Country and recognise that Australia’s First Peoples art and cultural practices have thrived here for millenia.

Leela Schauble

Born 1989, Melbourne, Australia

Lives and works Melbourne, Australia

Leela Schauble is a Chinese-Australian emerging artist based in Naarm / Melbourne who has exhibited locally and Internationally. Schauble works primarily with photography, video, and installations. Her practice meditates on themes of ecology and human-caused climate change. In 2018 Schauble participated in an Artist Immersion Program with LABVERDRE in the Amazon Rainforest and in 2015 undertook an artist residency to the Arctic Circle which informed her Masters research that explored human impact on the environment. Schauble received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), majoring in Painting from Monash University (2011) and a Master of Fine Arts Research at The Victorian College of the Arts (2017).

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