She sometimes sees the faces she needs to create in her dreams. She often feels as though an unseen force is guiding her hand as she draws. Spooky? Toowoomba schoolgirl London Heir doesn’t think so.
And when you see the stunning results of her ‘channelling’, you won’t either. “My art just seems to flow from outside myself,” the 14-year-old says. “I get lots of inspiration from fashion magazines and books, but then the ideas just come to me and take form the way I want. I don’t analyse it too much. I just create what has to come out.”
London’s talent has the local art scene buzzing. The drawings and paintings she creates – mostly of women’s faces – show maturity and natural technique well beyond her tender years, and offer hints of time spent living in Russia as a child.
It is a talent which saw her take out first place in an significant open art competition when she was just 10 years old, and her work has been selling well ever since. But there has been no formal training; no professional cultivation of her prodigious skills. “London was born with a pencil in her hand, and has been drawing and painting ever since,” her mum Rose says. “I just used to give her a pen and paper to keep her occupied when she was little – I had no idea if she was artistic or not. The turning point for London seemed to come when her teacher in Year 6 put a piece of charcoal in her hand. Everything just blossomed from that point.”
At least 12 pieces of London’s artwork will be on display at her first solo exhibition at Insight Gallery on April 5 – a remarkable achievement for someone so young, and which leaves the artist herself feeling “a bit scared, a bit excited”. But it is a feeling to which she might need to become accustomed – the future certainly looks bright for London Heir.
“I would like art to be a job for me ultimately – but I have no plans for what the future holds,” London said. “I’m a go-with-the-flow sort of person, and at this stage I have no real goals. I just want to keep getting better at art until I can do everything. I love the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo di Vinci because it makes me wonder how they did what they did. I want to learn to do more as an artist.”
Artist Profile courtesy of Insight Gallery
Insight Gallery is located at 416 Ruthven St Toowoomba and open seven days a week