By ANDREEA TINCEA
Published: February 27, 2011
MONSTERS ON CANVAS. NAKED SOUL. And, with the tolerance of the spicy English language, JUICY! The closest to the mirror will always be yourself. Consequently, about Leeorah Hursky, she speaks best about herself in the 3 autobiographical books (MONSTERS ON CANVAS, NAKED and JUICY, the latter being still in the writing process). This article will only attempt to catch a few details from an interview about the 56-year old woman, from Cape Town, South Africa…the author, the painter and the healer, who has put her own life into the hands of the Hawaiian shamans and in the strength of passion.
Leeorah Hursky (www.leeorahhursky.com) is the resident artist invited by Maestro Bruno Pischiutta and Producer Daria Trifu of the film Abused in America to create throughout the whole shooting period in Romania. Her paintings will accompany the work and the personal exercise of the actors and of the production team, as a form of reflection and balancing of the emotions involved in the film’s story.
“I feel Australian and South African…”
After 30 years lived in the midst of a society governed by the apartheid’s law (racial segregation) in a world where white and black could not merry, and after a normal life of wife and mother of 2 children, Leeorah left for Australia in 1988. There her life changed completely. She experienced the Hawaiian shamanic initiation in the Akalani ancient knowledge (the wisdom of healing through the balancing of the cellular and emotional system with the release of the negative patterns); she studied and she rediscovered herself. The roots of her career change were born there. After years of processing and self discovery, Leeorah, a dentist by profession, became an Akalani healer recognized in both Australia and Germany. Beyond all the traveling around the world in the past 20 years, she never stopped painting.
(L.H.) “2 years ago my father died and I had to go back to Africa and I was totally taken away by Africa…”
For 2 years, her life has stabilized back to South Africa. At 56, she writes her 3rd book on a new journey: JUICY.
(L.H.) “I used to paint monsters. My book NAKED SOUL is about that period. JUICY is my journey to meeting Daria and Bruno. How an unknown actress, 50 and something, makes a journey to meet other people she doesn’t know.”
“For pretty pictures you use a camera, but I want to paint the deepest dark.”
She has never studied acting and did not participate in any professional casting. Last year, however, a director met her on the street and offered her the chance to perform in a short film. She then learned to edit audio and video materials, to perform and not to inhibit her creativity.
(L.H.) “I liked the controversy in their story of Abused in America… the fact that Bruno and Daria are not afraid to go into the dark areas…. They take hard subjects that are uncomfortable to a lot of people and act like brave hearted warriors… they would go where dark is and not be afraid about it…”
Her artistic residence will take her in 2011 to the set in Brasov (Romania) where she will paint inspired by the theme of the film and by the actors’ performances.
(L.H.) “I’ve never been on a big movie set. While working on the set of Abused in America, everyone will need to get in touch with their dark side and I think I will be helping others to create their contact with the dark… but also install balance.
To paint the darkness, the angst and the fear will make beauty arise… for pretty pictures you use the camera but I want to paint the deepest dark. My residence will be a gift: to guide the people through their darkness… I will be a tunnel moving the people from darkness to light. “
The technique applied during her residence, that of exorcism and of mirroring the darkest emotions is the same one applied in her healing sessions and also the artistic philosophy behind her paintings.
(L.H.) ”One has to actually save and embrace your darkness, dark is nothing that you have to run away from …. When people have dark energy I would stay there and try to call out the dark.
When you suppress the dark you become a killer and an abuser.”
For Leeorah’s acting role in Abused in America she will apply the same exercise. Inspired by the image of a lascivious singer lying on a piano in an Australian café, Leeorah painted, in many of her paintings, the image of the woman without shame, of a woman becoming a piece of flesh...
L.H.) “When I paint I enter in a different realm. For this character I just let the painting come out of me… let the ladies of the night come out of me. This is how I exorcised the actress inside me.”
The production of the film which the producer Trifu and the director Pischiutta will make in Romania focuses on physical, mental and sexual abuse, exercised on men, women and children from the American society. Abused in America comes after the latest production signed by Adhara Properties and presented by Toronto Pictures: Punctured Hope.
The artistic residence Leeorah has been invited is not at random. The producers wanted to have on the set a team of artists who understand without prejudices the concept of abuse and the involved traumas.
(L.H.) “I am the victim of sexual abuse as a child… I have taken the journey in the darkness… If you have experienced a sexual abuse you have to meet the darkness and move through it and see it as a gift…. I have been working through it and I know you can take it as a gift… we have an inner abuser in many facets… chocolate… drinking… and so on. When you embrace your inner abuser… ‘abuse’ has no power over you…. “
“You don’t play with my creativity”
Leeorah Hursky comes from a family of artists. When she was 18 years old, she refused to continue her studies at the University of Art.
(L.H.) “Creative knowledge shouldn’t be tempered by education and training. You don’t play with my creativity.
I don’t want anyone to tell me if pink should or shouldn’t go next to blue… Judgment is the only one that could temper our art…
I apply very little judgment to my painting… art is an emotional experience,… it can’t be judged…. When I finish my painting I can’t say if it is good or not… I can’t see it right away… I need 2-3 weeks for that.” Leeorah has a close friend who looks at and determines if a painting is ready or not for public display.
She chose to study dentistry because she believes that science requires classical training first. She never stopped painting, however. The subject of her paintings changed after she became a healer. Upon returning to Africa, from monsters that grab her canvas she switched to warmer images focused on the human presence and its depths.
(L.H.) “Exhibiting my pictures that are very sexual can be unpleasant…. If you are sexually blocked you will be shocked by my pictures... and you will hate them…
In my vie and experience, abuse happens and flourishes when sexual energies haven’t been used correctly… My advise is to find where your passion is and just use it in your way and in any way...”
Leeorah Hursky is direct, warm and cheerful…her official website tells it frankly and directly: “Bull woman, universal mother, sacred whore; I guess those are a few labels to give you a flavor of who I am. Others have described me with terms ranging from ‘Angel’ to ‘Sumo wrestler’ (and that from a six foot rugby player). I am a fair buxom beauty (on a good day), with curly red hair, green eyes and a very cheeky smile. I’m a large woman who can dance like a sexy black mama, who’s very comfortable in her skin, and that confidence allows me to be a cheeky seductress as well.”
And about what she has in her life, where she is heading to and what she wants, Leeorah tells it simply:
”My life isn’t lacking of anything…”
English translation by MARIA ANGELA COLDEA. Edited by DARIA TRIFU.
Daria! Magazine®. All rights reserved 2011.