Release Catalogue

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Paintings by Genevieve Leavold

Special thanks to:

Tam, Antony, Antony, Phil, Tabish, Chris R, Audrey, Helen, Steve, Clive and Gail, Mark and Claire, Steff, Jesper, Dick, Miguel, Joseph and Rui, Rita, Ed, Kris, Bill and Lorna, Cherie, Declan and Michelle.

Genevieve Leavold

RELEASE - A collection of paintings inspired by thoughts about Release - created during lockdown 2020

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go ― Rumi

Genevieve Leavold is an abstract painter from the Uk. Her work is characterised by sweeping forms and rich colours. Working primarily in oils she takes reference from the natural world and from zen philosophy in her practice. Seeking a place of spontaneous creativity in each painting she makes.


EXHALE The word release to me translated to freedom. As a person that is very closed up sometimes which leads to being an over-thinker something that can sometimes be overwhelming. So now and then when you get to release and share it feels like taking a new breath and the pleasure of exhaling.

Exhale - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Beauty in Small Things I think I have released and let go of unnecessary worry, slowing down on all activities and with general restrictions now becoming a way of life I realised how superfluous thinking has left my mind and how I don't want to waste time in nonsense. I'm holding on to what is most dear to me, the beauty in small things that enrich my life: being able to stay healthy, small chats with close friends, feeding my interest in art and finding ways to be at peace. Release = Finding freedom & Making space for more Holding on = Nurturing own energy It's like opening a window to let fresh air in a room that's been closed for long time.

Beauty in Small Things - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

a Compassionate World My first reaction was to think about my girls again, and getting the balance right between keeping them safe and giving them freedom. However, it feels a bit like navel gazing in view of recent events. Instead I would like to focus on people being released from injustice. Whether they may be physically unfairly imprisoned or bound by others ignorance, prejudice, hatred, or racism. Release, for me should mean justice, freedom and equality for all.

A Compassionate World - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Know Thyself

We are chained by failure to understand ourselves. Release lies in self-knowledge and the will to act on it.

Know Thyself - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Birdsong and Sunshine

My perfect release is a long hot day pottering around the garden listening to the birds.

Birdsong and Sunshine - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Let that Sh*t Go from your best B

Let that Sh*t Go- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Leaping into a Waterfall I’ve been thinking a lot about travel recently, missing it and wondering what beautiful parts of the world I might get to see. When I think of Release I think of those moments while travelling when you have no control over things and you have to give up to what’s happening - and then feel immense freedom! The biggest moment of release was jumping off a waterfall in Laos... (It was very high as I had time to count before hitting the water...) I remember intense golden sunlight, sounds of the jungle and the turquoise pools of water, incredibly beautiful and something you usually just look at, as if I was jumping into a painting and being physically part of it.

Leaping into a waterfall - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Laughter and Forgetting

“We must never allow the future to collapse under the burden of memory.” Milan Kundera

Laughter and Forgetting - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Holding On and Letting Go

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go" Rumi

Holding On and Letting Go- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Go Ask Alice

"When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low Go ask Alice, I think she'll know"

Go Ask Alice- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

For the Wild

For both of us it meant different things .. for him release felt unsafe by letting himself go Wild for me it immediately felt like letting go as a parent and letting my children into the wild. So it’s funny the world wild came to both of us in different ways.

For the Wild- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Glorious Maelstrom Visiting family always releases my creativity. Somehow even though there are so many of us all trying to talk at the same time, all full of news and excitement and thoughts and fears and questions and love and envy and so many feelings, by the time I head home again, I find that this glorious maelstrom has led me to a settled calm deep within and the creative ideas that were blocked before take off, like manycoloured butterflies. Practicing Tai chi for the last 3 years has taught me about release. Throughout a session of practice you work very hard to notice and relax tense muscles, finding ways to move that are powerful and yet relaxed. There is a concept of coiling, where movements turn and coil a part of your body, so that you when you move out of that posture, you feel the additional power of releasing the tension from the coiled structure.

Glorious Maelstrom- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Close To Panic Gillem nudged his horse forward. He could feel her tenseness. Her she moved her leg twice before taking the first step. Whatever was in those trees had her skittish. Scared, even. Gillem put his hand on her withers, moved it down to her shoulder, leaning, shifting his weight. ‘Easy, girl,’ he said. ‘I’m here.’ She took a second step, ducked her head under a low branch. Gillem leaned to his right to avoid it, felt the sticky needles brush his cheek. She took a third step, then a fourth. Picking her way into the falling darkness. Then Gillem heard what she had perhaps heard all along. A hissing, constant, like a great serpent breathing out. The closest sound he could liken it to was of that of a snake he’d seen in a street fare in a distance city. A man it dirty robes had the snake in a basket and was using it to frighten children, selling glimpses of it to the curious for a farthing. But this was louder, and constant. Gillem shook the reins gently, encouraged her forward. They weren’t following a path, just working through the pines, heading down the slope of the mountain towards the sound. Underfoot was easy, occasional twigs and branches, but mostly a thick, soft carpet of needles, easy on the horse’s legs. She stepped to the left, round another tree, then stopped, and snorted. He couldn’t see her mouth and nose, even though she was twisting her head away from what she saw, but he knew her nostrils were flared. She was close to panic.

Close to Panic - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

let her run There, a hundred yards away, sat the source of the sound. Huge, as big as a building, and black in the fading light, a monster sitting in a great cloud of steam. But it was no monster. Gillem knew a locomotive when he saw one. He hadn’t been expecting to see one here, though, deep in his woods. Two decades ago this had just been woods. Now he could see the locomotive and next to it a low building, tucked into the trees at the side. There were no tracks, but Gillem realised that was because the machine was at the end of the tracks. A pile of sacks filled with something solid lay across the front of it. The steam was clearing. The locomotive had stopped letting it out. ’Not good,’ said Gillem as he urged the horse to turn. But she was fixated, terrorised, didn’t respond. Then the locomotive started to move, backwards, away from them. As it did so it let out a great whistle that wrought the air like a scream, which was more than enough. The horse reared. Gillem clung on. Her fear grew huge, bigger than she could cope with. Then she bolted. Across where the tracks would have been if they’d continued, and down the slope, into the trees, at full gallop, her mind mad with fear. Gillem threw himself as low across her neck as he could and gripped tight.

Let Her Run Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Lost Time

He felt branches whip his back, one scratch his face, more than scratch his face - tear it. He felt blood run down his cheek, drip off his chin. He let her run. The slope was all pine woods until it hit the river, but she would tire if she didn’t stumble or crash into something she couldn’t smash through. He let her run. He lost his sense of time. She could have been running for hours. But it was more likely only a few minutes. She didn’t have the legs for a gallop through woods for much more. He clung on. She did start to tire. And to calm. He felt both at the same time. Her strides shortened, and her muscles relaxed. He let her be for a minute more, then spoke as gently as a man could. ‘Easy girl,’ he said. ‘I’m here.’ She caught herself, going from a canter to a trot to a walk in no time at all. She snickered, tried to look back at him. ’No need to be embarrassed, girl,’ he said. ‘Pissed myself first time I heard one o’ them do that.’ She walked to a halt. Gillem slipped out of the saddle and went round to her face, put his hand under her muzzle, scratched her chin. ‘It’s alright, girl,’ he said. He kept his hand on her head for a minute, making soothing noises. He put his other hand up to his cheek, felt the wetness. ‘Who build a station way out there?’ he said. Far away the whistle from the train blew again. The horse moved, shied a little, then lowered her head towards him.

Lost Time - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Harvesting Radishes Once upon a time, it would've been the fist pumping the air as I belt out my favourite song along with the band; the roar of the crowd at the final whistle as the Orient cling onto a 1-0 win; stumbling back into the real world after watching a spell-binding performance; putting the final piece of a project in place knowing that it's finally done; or just waking up on a Monday morning knowing that I really, really, really don't have to go to work ... But that was a bigger world and the releases are much smaller but somehow much harder won; poking a nose outside the front-door; a summer's day in my tiny garden managing to harvest half a dozen radish; swapping pies with friends (sociallydistanced of course); one hug in six months; the Zoom call that's the highlight of the week ... And I'm good at this; anti-social & fond of my own company. FFS my Xmas challenge is how long I can manage without having to speak to anyone (current record somewhere around 3.5 days) ...

Harvesting Radishes - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Free Your Body

" Free your body and your mind will follow!"

Free Your Body - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

A Little Hope It feels like the entire concept of normality has ended. Everything, everybody is distressed. If you can encapsulate a little bit of hope on the canvass, I’d be very happy. When I presently consider the idea of release/letting go, I imagine getting rid of the old way of doing things. Working together to enable a better future. Letting go of our prejudices. Release our compassion..

A Little Hope - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Out of Darkness

I’ve been trying to think of how I could respond to your theme. Finally something heartfelt seems to be there. I would posit release from the corrupt, knowingly dishonest, evil , self-interested, racist and misogynistic influence of Trump and all his pathetic sycophants.

Out of Darkness- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

the Roots of Me So, some thoughts... This morning i was repotting my rubber tree and I was struck by the process, crumbling away the old depleted soil, untangling the roots, removing any rotten parts... like my plant I’ve had to spend some time untangling myself and letting go of unhelpful thinking. It’s left me feeling vulnerable at times but I have found space to grow.

The Roots of Me Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Opening to Possibility Letting go of the me of the past, yet holding on to what I think is truly me, or what I would like it to be. Letting go of the dreams that turned out to be nightmares. Leaving behind the things that led me down the wrong paths, but holding on to the lessons. Letting go of the unhealthy selfcriticism, but holding on to the balanced and useful one. Well, still working on that. Letting go of what I thought should be, and holding on to what is, and what can be. Letting go of the strict structures of tradition, and holding on to the creative and playful. Letting go of the hurt, but holding on to the learning and growing. And totally letting go of this dumpster fire of a year.

Opening To Possibility - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Temporary Possession

From an etymological standpoint, 'release' can be thought of as a combination of 're', coming directly from Latin meaning anew/again/back to the original place and 'lease', a word whose origins are split between meaning allow/permit, let go/leave, and a contract granting temporary possession. I like that it involves agency. I like that the word is inherently cyclical. Awareness --> Decision --> Action. Repeat. It almost encapsulates mindfulness.

Temporary Possession- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Normal Person

So for me the lockdown has been a return to having one job again, the day job. I feel very conflicted as I'm missing the art world a lot but it's also nice to have that release where I don't have so much pressure on me and can live like a 'normal person' once again and do all the things I never had time for.

Normal Person - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Missing the Art World

Missing the Art World - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Doing Things I Never Have Time For

Things I never Have Time For - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020


When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. Thich Nhat Hanh

Connection - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Making Mischief I am really struggling for inspiration in this super un-inspiring time, usually we would have travelled, had parties, been up to mischief (well we have a bit) and generally invigorated our minds! In a year where we have never felt more restricted, lifestyle, travel, work, income, money, hobbies, seeing family and friends, and everything in between.

Making Mischief - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

What Could have Been

A “piece” of 2020, “the year that should have been”! I eagerly await “Release” to be honest! Release from this suffocating disparity that Is 2020!

What Could Have Been - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Take Flight

Take Flight - Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Moving Outwards

This is one of three pieces that are connected to the feeling of confinement and loneliness that the lockdown had for those who live alone. Outwards relates to the need for external stimulation art, music, conversation.

Moving Outwards- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020

Creative Endeavours

“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.” Dorothy Parker

Creative Endeavours- Oil on Canvas - 30x30cm - 2020


List of Works 1. Exhale

17. Harvesting Radishes

2. Beauty in Small Things

18. Free Your Body

3. To Live in a Compassionate World

19. A little Hope

4. Know Thyself

20. Out of Darkness and Corruption

5. Birdsong and Sunshire

21. The Roots of Me

6. Let that Sh*t Go

22. Letting Go of Expectation

7. Leaping into the Waterfall

23. Temporary Possession

8. Laughter and Forgetting

24. Normal Person

9. A balance of holding on and letting go

25. Missing the Art World

10. Expanding Beyond my Limits

26. The Things I never Have Time for

11. Go Ask Alice

27. Connection

12. For the Wild

28. Making Mischief

13. Glorious Maelstrom

29. What could have been

14. Close to Panic

30. Take Flight

15. Let Her Run

31. Outwards

16. Lost Time

32. Creative Endeavours

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