Leo grew up in a household obsessed with print and the printed word, where piles of illustrated books formed haphazard columns in every room. One fateful day at a car boot fair in Southern England, Leo and his brother bought a job lot of old 2000ad comics and his life was changed from that day on.
Wanting to be a comic artist from a young age, Leo went to art school and ended up in Bristol studying Fine Art in Context. At this point he left his dreams of sequential art behind and began concentrating on painting. Such are the follies of youth. During most of his studies Leo focused his obsessions on Spanish and Russian propaganda art and began working text and bold images into his work. Through a symbiosis of words and pictures this art was far ahead of its time in how it communicated complex ideas quickly whilst using the tech of the age to disseminate these ideas far and wide.
The tech of the age was printing and it would be a while before Leo realised how much it would come to dominate his life. After Bristol Leo moved to Ireland where he joined the ranks of the army of art school drop outs who wanted to become graphic designers. His career in graphic design was short lived but his residence in Ireland continues to this day. To cut a short story even shorter, Leo eventually listened to his wise mother’s persistent advice and decided to ‘Do some bloody printing.’ by enrolling in a couple of screen printing courses in Cork Printmakers.
Much like when he sped read that job lot of boot fair 2000ads his life changed when he pulled his first screen-print. ‘Things just seemed to fall into place. Everything I liked, from collage to painting, propaganda posters to comics, rubbish photocopiers and glossy pop art, just seemed too happily coexist there in that one medium.’
His mother, it turned out, had been right. Since then Leo has adapted the medium of screen printing to suit his needs by experimenting with vertical printing, building a mobile print cart, mashing up screen printing with painting, collage and comics and is, all in all, a very happy print bunny.
Notable screen print based exhibitions include: