Local Talent Q&A: Leah Rose Thomason Bromberg, oil painter, 32

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Our summer-long showcase of the area’s eclectic mix of artists, photographers and makers continues


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Leah Rose Thomason Bromberg
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The other day we put a call out on social media, Royal Academy-style, asking artists to send us a special piece of work to feature in our August print issue. Our little Summer Exhibition, if you like.

And what a response! We loved the eclectic mix of folk who came forward, all with such an incredibly diverse array of practices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be chatting to each of them.

What’s your practice? I spend most of my time making oil paintings that deal with the idea of home and nostalgia. Leah is my mother’s middle name; Rose is her mum’s first name. In (native American) Navajo families like mine, clan and identity passes on from your maternal side. I’d like to think that I’ve inherited the strength of many matriarchies from them. Thomason is the surname of my father; it originates from the American south and is equally strong in its roots. Bromberg, the name I share with my husband, is new beginnings and new homes.

Oil painter Leah Rose Thomason Bromberg
Oil painter Leah Rose. Photo: self-portrait

How long have you lived in the area? We’ve been here since April 2016, meaning I’ve been in London for both Brexit and the US presidential election. I am not only American, but an indigenous person as well.

What piece of work are you most proud of? A series titled ‘Hero Twins’.The story of the first Navajo people centres on twins, who I imagined as me and my sister in the greenery of Virginia. We’re hunting the monsters that threaten to destroy our house, manifested in my version as the snakehead fish. The language of invasive species quickly gets into questions of indigeneity and political rhetoric: we’re afraid of the ‘alien’. What made the piece special to me was getting to ask questions about why I paint and what it means. It’s empowering to be entirely in charge of a world you’ve created.

Your favourite place? I love a chill pub. The Rose & Crown is my after-work watering hole. I might have a pile of pencils, a sketchbook, and books to read, so I pretty much look like I’m at the library.

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More info here and Instagram.

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