LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

There was all this loneliness in my cartoons and people would say, "Gee, these characters are so lonely, disconnected, depressed." And I'd say, 'Yeah well, that's not me. I'm just interested in that because I think it makes a funny drawing.' But later I understood it was me in many respects; my hand was doing it ahead of the head's understanding.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

This life is actually very exhausting. It doesn’t give humans much time to contemplate anything. We are not resting ourselves and there is the feeling we have got to keep working and pushing really hard. So I draw the person running and running and running-for no apparent reason. And suddenly I find that I have touched on something that is perhaps universal.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

My work is often therapeutic because I often give expression to this inner voice.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL – Bush Christmas with butterflies and child, The Saturday Age 24 December 2011

Yet out in the countryside, beyond the harsh gravity of the material world, far from Father Christmas and closer to Mother Nature, a wondrous child may behold the miracles of the bush and know that new life and great beauty are abundant and eternal. There is no monumental religious event in this infinity of detail and diversity; it is all part of a broader ancient miracle.
Huge clouds of brown butterflies swirl up into the dazzling light, parrots swoop to grassy earth, honeyeaters ravish the sweet flowers of the bottlebrush, echidnas trundle steadily in search of each other, lizards dart among ants and ancient rocks, the fine branchlets of manna gums quiver to the mating growls of koalas, ibises stroll and feast on grasshoppers and gleaming Christmas beetles hang from eucalyptus leaves like small green baubles. The birds sing gloriously and not a wrong note is heard. This is Christmas in the bush…

LEUNIG, MICHAEL - Bush Christmas with butterflies and child, The Saturday Age 24 December 2011

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

I saw the Bird of Paradox perching in a tree. “Nothing much,” it said and that meant nothing much to me.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL – Sleep on Country, The Age 26 January 2012

Yet there is a nation of individuals who occupy a common ground – of which they are the custodians, whether they realise it or not. Arrayed with a huge variety of creatures, plants and land forms, in spite of its use and misuse at the hands of settlers and occupiers, it is a unique natural estate of great beauty, spirit and strength.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL - Sleep on Country, The Age 26 January 2012

LEUNIG, MICHAEL – Bush Christmas with butterflies and child, The Saturday Age 24 December 2011

If European symbols and traditions have grown tired, perfunctory and oppressively banal in Australia, or been drained of spirit and meaning by the dreary dictates of materialism and secularity, then the raw spirit truth of our native land is alive and radiant by comparison. For joy and meaning we might well turn to our natural country and witness miracles of vitality and new life, of inspiration and profound beauty; all in some humble, quiet and improbable place.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL - Bush Christmas with butterflies and child, The Saturday Age 24 December 2011

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

At the very simplest, I think as Van Gogh said and St Francis would have said, we must find nature. Just to be in the presence of nature your feelings and ‘little seedlings’ start to awake. So if we disassociate ourselves from God we cut nature out, too. More and more we turn nature into a commodity, into eco-tourism. But we must integrate it into the way people live every day.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

LEUNIG, MICHAEL

Ah, whimsical. It’s terrible the way words get attached to you like barnacles. As is what I do is acting on a ‘whim’. If only these were gifts from God when I get an idea, but everything I have done that I really love has had a lot of hard work behind it.

LEUNIG, MICHAEL