Leonie Castelino is an American Contemporary Bojagi Fiber Artist recognized as one of three 20th Century influences in ‘Bojagi’. She has broken the traditional rectilinear boundaries of Korean Bojagi, to create works of art with pieced fabric, curved architectural lines, jagged edges, complex colors with the layering of fabric, and sculptures and installations.
Her art floats off the wall. Sculptures take on new ethereal forms, as they hang, or gently move, or serenely turn individually on a mobile, as it too turns with the slightest movement of air, or they dance with a passing breeze.
Her exhibitions have been characterized by the interplay of beauty, energy, and movement complemented with narrative and social commentary - a constant dialogue that explores new ideas, techniques, and artistic interpretation.
Leonie's installations are a celebration of women, some veiled about emancipatory freedom and achievement using the power of art to tell stories. Recently her wellspring of creativity is collaborating with a sculptor, writer and researcher from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, photographer, musician and dancer on exhibitions on women in crisis from the effect of the pandemic. Directing and curating a virtual collaborative exhibition in video is a new venture.
Her first two online lectures in two short videos in 2021 on 'Identity in Textiles' on patchwork from Rajasthan and Gujarat, India and the Hill Tribes of Southeast Asia opened new vistas. In sharing the cultural wealth of India is an evolving video series: 'Identity in Textiles and Dance in India'. Her collaborator is Nalini Rau, a linguist and classical Indian dancer.
Leonie, with a Masters in Geography from the University of Bombay in India, immigrated to America in her early 20s where she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology while earning a MBA from the City University of New York. In 1991 after a successful career in strategic planning and new business development in corporate America and starting a family with her husband and two children, Leonie rediscovered the artist within and embarked on her next journey.
She attained Journeyman designation at The Isabel O’Neil Workshop & Studio in New York creating objects of art studying painted finishes of European decorative arts inspired by Asian influences of the 18th and 19th centuries. She was on the faculty teaching Gilding and Vizagapatam in pen-work. She continues her exploration of art and culture through textiles including the ancient arts of Shibori, Rozome and Bojagi which ultimately evolved into her signature in Contemporary Bojagi which includes hangings, moving sculptures & story-telling.
Leonie’s art has been featured in several solo exhibitions from New York and across the United States, as well as internationally, from China, South Korea to South Africa. Recently she was an Honored International Artist at From Lausanne to Beijing, 10th International Fiber Art Biennale’ at Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China. She exhibits in prestigious juried group exhibitions in international museums and galleries and recently in virtual international exhibitions.
Her art is featured in books & professional magazines, most recently one of 13 artists in the cover story on an exploration of a world of color in art in Ateliers d’art in Jun-Jul 2021.