Liz and Leigh

Leigh and Liz 2005

          Leigh Morgan   - artist profile

Leigh Morgan's mother Ruth, came to Australia as a refugee from Hitler's Germany's before the war and married Frank Morgan at 19 years. His father was an accomplished artist and recognized member of the George Bell school. As a young boy Leigh accompanied his parents on trips or visits with Joy Hester and Albert Tucker, then a mate of Frank snr., whose circle included Ambrose (Amby) Dyson, Noel Counihan and Vic O'Conner, the latter three becoming Leigh's first art teachers. Leigh remembers Amby for his humour and enthusiasm and for being encouraged in his efforts by both Counihan and O'Conner.
Along with art Leigh studied classical Guitar and engineering, training as a draughtsman and worked in that profession later as a designer and then as a project engineer before setting up and managing a successful building company.

In 1980 he sold up everything and moved with his family to Thora just inland from the North Coast town of Bellingen (see www.bellingen.com)   There, inspired by his surroundings and the opportunity of early semi-retirement from his city profits he turned back to art. Landscapes, abstract design and portraiture came naturally to Leigh who was able to draw on his 15 years draughting experience and the excellent training he had from his art teachers. He was in good company with many other artists living and working in the Bellingen area picking up valuable life drawing experience with local artists Shelly Kelly, Chris Hundt and Alan Boucher. Leigh was successful from the outset both in art competitions and in selling his paintings.
Within a few years Leigh realized that working in two dimensions did not satisfy his sense of form nor express his passion for the tactile. So canvas was largely replaced in his creative urge by timber, and studying the masters was replaced by summer schools with sculptors Steffan Bruigisser and Bert Fugleman.
Another significant event in Leigh's life was meeting the supurb creator and artist Garry Greenwood with whom he felt he was with a "fellow spirit ". Garry died in 2005 ~ I have added a gallery of some of his works so others can see his work. Keep in mind that the only materials are leather and glue, and his tools, a knife and sharpening stone. Garry Greenwood works

Leigh sold his Thora property and now lives and works nearer the mouth of the beautiful Bellinger river with his wife Liz Challis who is also an artist. His talented children, Lisa (teacher of Art and English), Michael (teacher of Science and Mathematics) and Charlie (Degree in Finance and Advertising) are now all living away from home.
Leigh has an extensive building next to his house in which he has a huge stock of Australian Red Cedar much of which is for sale. (96 Old Pacific Highway Raleigh 2454 NSW).

His daughter Lisa is following her grandfather's and father's footsteps, and is already a fine artist and sculptor. Lisa has completed her fine arts degree and a teaching degrees. She is currently taking a Master's degree to be able to teach the blind. At present she teaches English as a foreign language. Lisa's sculpture and paintings,
Michael, Leigh's eldest (and 6' 4" tall) son Michael is now enjoying teaching on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Michael keeps up his clarinet playing both Jazz, Misic of the Bulkans and Gypsy swing (and BeatBox!!). Michael also has considerable artistic talent. Several years ago he won the major prize in the youth week art competition.   Michael's page  Michael and his partener Nikki have set up a mushroom production farm at Nikkie's dad's property a few kilometres North of Leigh's house.
Charlie, everyone's favourite, now lives with his girlfriend in Sydney where he works fo a large international advertising company.

Both Leigh and his wife Liz Challis have, since 2007, spent 6 months each year in Europe, mainly based in the Cevenol village of Le Vigan in the South of France. Their European travels have taken in most of the famous cities and galleries of which two were suprises the Nice modern art gallery and in particular the little known Prague modern art gallery.

In 2013 Liz and Leigh stayed for a month in a tiny hameau, La Salle, above Bez and their local town, (8km East) was Le Vigan, which they really liked. In 2015 they bought a lovely stone house in the centre of town and have spent 6 months there every year creating and making new friends ~ a life of "Summers ".
Perhaps one of the reasons that both Leigh and Liz feel a strong connection to France is that they both have great uncles buried on the Somme and grandfathers who fought in France.

    Leigh Morgan's sculptures and paintings are represented in collections in Victoria, NSW, Tasmania, England, USA, Japan, France and Russia.