Leila Jeffreys is a relative newcomer to exhibiting but there is nothing quick or usual about the life path which has led to her showcasing Fine Art Photography around the world.
Leila says, “My father was from the Isle of Man. My mother is from India. My brother was born in Australia and I was born in Papua New Guinea.”
Her father loved to travel and loved animals and photography – all passions which Leila adopted. Her love of photography continued through high school in Perth, Western Australia and led to a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Photography from Curtin and Murdoch Universities in Perth, Western Australia. She then completed a Certificate of Photography at Ultimo TAFE in Sydney, New South Wales. She photographed people and landscapes but nothing was as satisfying as photographing animals; and in particular she developed a huge passion for birds.
Leila’s love of birds has led her all around Australia and the world. She has photographed and helped scientists study endangered birds on Christmas Island; she has been welcomed into the world of pedigree budgerigar ‘best in show’ bird competitions; and she has photographed migrating birds across Europe.
Leila wanted to convey to people that there are incredible birds all around us all the time. She realised that it was because of their small size that the beauty in the commonplace was being missed. Her idea for photographing Australia’s native bird – the Budgerigar – in the same style as a human portrait was born. It was a labour of love that took years to perfect, and people responded immediately.
Her first exhibition was in 2010 in a group show at the Iain Dawson Gallery in Sydney, followed soon after by a solo show. From there she was exhibited at the Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong; sold in designer Jonathan Adler boutiques in New York and London and eventually all 14 of his boutiques; bought by Australian embassies and missions and Artbank, Sydney; exhibited at the Reis Gallery in Singapore; and bought by private collectors around the world.
She is currently exhibiting her next body of work at the Tim Olsen Gallery which again throws a bright spotlight on another of Australia’s incredibly beautiful birds: the Cockatoo.
Leila lives in Sydney with her husband and son. Her brother and mother live in Sydney too and she dedicates her photos to her late father Richard who loved the planet and all its incredible animals and life.