Working in diverse media including video, installation, object making and performance, Donnan has worked with communities and institutions across the U.S., The Netherlands, Iceland, Canada, France and Australia. She has presented work at Moma PS1, LIVE: Biennial of Performance Art, the Internationale Cité des Arts Paris and the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During 2015 her Appliqué series was exhibited in Australia and the United States, her video Articulated Line was transmitted into outer space and she was commissioned to create work for Cosmic Love Wonder Lust, a survey exhibition of the Imperial Slacks Artist Collective at Sydney College of the Arts and Campbelltown Arts Center, where she was an artist in residence.
All the transport and communication systems in the world become one surface. They are lifted, lace like, to create a single object, a single piece of crafted network fabric. This multi-system material forms the conceptual underbelly of Donnan's practice. Seeking to understand human nature through migratory systems, network theory, and poetics, Léa Donnan proposes a prototype craft for the future, weaving with abstractions of systems entangled in the shifting tides of globalism. Cataloguing the communal history of materials as part of a wider cultural narrative, she produces cinematic drawings as woven abstractions of international distribution systems in transport, industry and communication. Donnan is an American Australian artist raised in France, England, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia & Australia to a Japanese born Austrian mother & Australian/Irish father. Her personal, transitory experiences of culture and language form the basis for her practice.
Masters of Fine Arts, RESEARCH, University of New South Wales, 2014.
Intensive Film Institute, Yale University, 2009.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, 1999.
Diploma of Art, Maryland Institute of Art, 1996.
Junkyard Oracle, Surel's Place, Boise, Idaho, 2016.
Desert Appliqué, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree CA, 2013,
curated by Andrea Zittel, Dave Hickey & Libby Lumpkin.
The Whispering Gallery, Kudos Gallery, Sydney, 2013.
Bókfærðu/Net Value, National Seafarers Festival, Iceland, 2012.
American Family Portrait, Slope Editions, Suzees 3rd St Laundry, Turners Falls, USA, 2011.
All Enquiring Friends, Burden Ironworks Museum, Troy, NY, USA, 2011.
Truckers on Love, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, Australia, 2009.
1000 Miles of I Love You, City of Northampton, USA, 2008.
Archticraft, Turner Falls, USA, 2008.
Chiasma, LIVE: Biennial of Performance Art, Vancouver, Canada, 2003.
The First Ritual, Artspace, Sydney, 2001.
Travel Kit for a Sacred Script, Artbox, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2001.
Conversations(Antechamber for Pilgrims) Blaugrau, Sydney, 2001.
Decoy, Strip Gallery, Melbourne, 1999
Anonymous, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 1999.
Reliquary, Herringbone Gallery, Sydney, 1998.
Broken White, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 2016.
Modern Art,The Modern Hotel, Boise, Idaho, 2016.
Peekskill Project 6, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY, 2015.
Cosmic Love Wonderlust, Campbelltown Arts Center & Sydney College of the Arts Gallery, Sydney, 2015, curated by Nick Tsoutas and Michael Dagostino.
Forever Now, MOFO 2016, Hobart, Tasmania, 2015, curated by Willoh S. Weiland, Thea Baumann, Jeff Khan and Brian Ritchie.
Trilogies, The SubStation, Newport, Australia, 2015.
Living Walls Festival Albany, Office 21, Albany, 2011.
Expert Oddities, Flux Projects, Queens, NY, 2011.
DOS Screenings, The Distillery, Boston, 2006.
Brainstorms, GrantPirrie Gallery, Sydney, 2005.
Art Bizarre, The Green Room, Montreal, Canada, 2004.
Work Rest Play (Escape), Artspace, Sydney, 2004.
Festivus, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2003.
Videospell 2: Personae, The Performance Space, Sydney, 2003.
Artbox Inc., Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2003.
B-Hotel,Moma P.S.1, New York City, 2001.
Artist in Residence, Surel's Place, Boise, Idaho, 2016.
Artist in Residence, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia, 2015.
ARTSTART, visual arts grant, Australia Council for the Arts, 2014.
Scholarship, ISEA 2012: Machine Wilderness, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
College of Fine Arts, UNSW Travel Grant, 2012.
Australian Postgraduate Award, UNSW, 2010.
New Work, VACF, Australia Council for the Arts, 2010.
Fellowship, Contemporary Artists Center, Troy, 2009.
Artist in Residence, Artspace, The Gunnery, Sydney, 2009.
Northampton City Arts Council grant recipient, Northampton, 2008.
Franklin County Action Coalition, Community Arts Grant, USA, 2007.
Freedman Foundation, Travelling Art Scholarship, 2005.
Residency, Internationale Cité des Arts, AGNSW studio, Paris, 2005.
Goddard Sapin Jaloustre Scholarship, French Australian Exchange, 2004.
New Work, VACF, Australia Council for the Arts, 2004.
Commission, DeQuincey Dance Co. w Sydney City Council, 2003.
Commission, Djamu Gallery, Australian Museum, Sydney, 2003.
Artist in Residence, University of Sydney, Dept for Performance Studies, 2003.
Artist in Residence, Artspace, The Gunnery, Sydney, 2002.
Pat Corrigan Artist and Marketing Grant, NAVA, 2002.
Pat Corrigan Artist and Marketing Grant, NAVA, 1999.
Australia Council for the Arts, Emerging Artist Initiative Grant, 1999.
Bryce Courtenay Young Sculptor's Award, Sculpture by the Sea, 1998.
University of New South Wales Gas Scheme, 1998.
Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, International Scholarship,1996.
Tammy La Gorce, Peekskill as Canvas for Artists Near and Far, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2015.
ABC TV, The Mix with James Valentine, Interview for Imperial Slacks, ABC Arts, Aug 16, 2015.
Lenny Ann Low, They f#%ked, they made art, they contributed to the city. Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, p10,Aug 7, 2015.
Matthew Irwin, High Desert Test Sites, Frieze Magazine, Issue 161, 2014.
James Kiesow, October Desert Art Trek, Curator Magazine, Oct.15, 2013.
Sarah Maslin, Nocturnalist; Fixations that are Odd, The New York Times,
Jan. 7th, 2011.
Michael Young, Video Now, Art Asia Pacific, No. 64, 2009.
Tina Antolini, Truckers on Love Break Stereotypes, National Public Radio,
Dec 12, 2008, USA.
Arn Albertini, View of Love from the Road, Greenfield Recorder, Nov.17, 2008.
David Detmold, Truckers on Love, The Montague Reporter, Nov.6, 2008.
The Art Life, Barn Storming, June 2005.
Alex Gawronski, Imperial Slacks, Broadsheet, Vol. 31, No. 4, p. 28.
Courtney Kidd, Art Monthly Australia, Art Notes, Issue 183, 2005.
Blair French, “Videospell”, catalogue, Performance Space Sydney, 2004.
Lenny Ann Low, “New Media”, Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 20, 2003.
Russell Storer, Catalogue, Artbox Inc. Sherman Galleries, 2003.
Alex Gawronski, "Imperial Slacks" Broadsheet, VOl. 31, No. 4, p.28
Michael Hutak, "Sydney's Rising Art Stars”, The Australian Art Collector, No 16. April 2001.
Courtney Kidd, Dealing a Good Hand, Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2000.
Sebastian Smee, Rough Ride for New Wave of Sculptors, Sydney Morning Herald,
Sept. 9, 1998.
Michael Evans, Sculptures in the Sand, Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 9, 1998.