Mosaic artist Leonie Scott has volunteered with the Bacchus Marsh Arts Council for the past year. She speaks with Sumeyya Ilanbey about how she got involved in arts and what it means for her.
What’s your connection to Moorabool?
I moved here four and a half years ago. I’ve done mosaics for 14 years and I wanted to get into the Bacchus Marsh community – I saw a project the Bacchus Marsh Arts Gallery was running so I did that and found out there was this new gallery in town, and became a committee member shortly after.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Moorabool?
The peace, the quiet and the people – they’re very lovely. I was living in Footscray … when I stopped working I became very much aware of the traffic and the congestion. I wanted a studio, so I was looking for a place that had a huge shed or a big garage and that’s what I found. I’ve turned my garage here into my studio.
What would you change about the area if you could?
I don’t really have too much to change. The worst part would be parking at The Village shopping centre. The other thing I would like to see is for the council to give us a proper gallery, which would be featured in the main street. Where we are at the moment is great, and it’s slowly being recognised by the locals, but a lot of people still don’t know there’s a gallery in Bacchus Marsh.
If we were in a better [location] it could really take off and maybe the local people would support it. We had a fundraiser for the Jane McGrath Foundation and that was so successful, we raised a lot of money.
At the moment, we’ve got a mosaic and glass exhibition, next month we’ve got the community weaving group exhibition, and after that we have the Christmas sale.
Where’s your favourite place to hang out in Moorabool?
My own home – it’s just magnificent. I’ve got the most beautiful view and I just love sitting and looking at the view, I really do. Other than that, I like Lola’s Cafe … and I love the Royal Hotel.
I’m in the process of trying all the restaurants to be honest, but it’s not something I do a lot because I’m busy.
How did you get involved in mosaics?
It happened through my job as a teacher at Victoria University. I just felt like I needed an outlet and I’d always wanted to try mosaics, which I did on my own and made a terrible mess of it. I then did a class and started going to that – that was 14 years ago.
How has it changed your life?
When you’re stressed, or the pressures too much for you, you get into your mosaics and it’s a definite therapy and it keeps you sane. It takes you into another world of creating and you forget about all the things that are going on in your life.
How important is art?
Very. For me, it’s the pieces I do and having them in my home. I have one piece and every time I look at it, it brings a real calming effect to me and it just makes me – let’s just say the blood pressure drops. It makes me feel relaxed. Art brings life to your life. The colours, the textures …
Artwork is very much like wine – you either like it or your hate it. We all have different tastes so what works for one doesn’t work for the other, but it’s not to say the art is wrong.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
My marital status – I’m not married and that surprises a lot of people about why I haven’t had a family.
It’s just never happened. And people say I’m a good host.
The Bacchus Marsh Art Gallery is at The Village, Shop 46/176 Main St, Bacchus Marsh.