Trained in fashion design and instinctually drawn to traditionally female-dominated mediums (perhaps due to her family's matrilineal tradition of hands-on expression), Ria Leigh finds inspiration and source material in ancient and modern realms: mythology, anthropology, '90s club kids, Peruvian exotica, the Internet... As she weaves these uncommon threads in ceramic, textile and paper-based forms, she is simultaneously rooted with her six-year old daughter in one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods of Seattle, Washington. Her work is therefore esoteric and symbolic but also pragmatic and utilitarian. It solves real-world problems—where shall we eat and how will we stay warm—as it folds and unfolds ages-old ideas about identity, spirituality, power and being.
Ria was born in Indonesia and raised in California. She has worked as a merchant and a vendor, nomadically and digitally. Her dog is named after a Spanish surrealist, her books are arranged by jacket-cover color and her favorite YouTube videos star either Carl Sagan or Aldous Huxley—but she thinks it would be pretty cool to uncover one that features them both.
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