Alishia Falleni is a self-trained, emerging visual artist that was born and raised in NZ, seasoned in AU and inspired by BK (Brooklyn).
She uses oil paint on board, aerosol spray, ink, and collage while working from source images that she shoots with a Canon DSLR camera. Her large scale landscapes, cityscapes, and streetscapes capture the nostalgia of the everyday and familiar, while also showing beauty in the contrasts between the pretty and gritty, industrial and nature.

Lishi’s private art patronage was established over a decade ago in New Zealand, primarily by word of mouth appreciation of her paintings. Initially, her studio practice was therapeutic and wasn’t producing work with the art market in mind.
She underwent a string of expensive yet unsuccessful medical procedures to reconstruct the small inner ear bones and repair the eardrum of her right ear. The numerous side effects of the surgeries lead to depression and prescribed medication. She was adrift on a sea of black clouds, but her art practice was a reparative sanctuary that helped guide her back to shore as she recalibrated her hearing and balance.

In 2016 Alishia participated in her first exhibition, a two-person exhibit titled When The Sky Meets The Land, at Front Yard Gallery on the GC of Australia and went on to sell seven pieces from the show. In 2019,
Ms. Falleni had her debut solo exhibition titled A Version Of Paradise, at The Bishop Gallery in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She sold the largest piece in the exhibit called Roll The Dice, as well as a successful print program of originals through the gallery. It was at this exhibition of nine large scale pieces, where Lishi platformed her messages and motifs based thematically on freedom.

Now more than ever, freedom is a word that is reverberating around the world and boldly declaring its intentions. Lishi’s work champions freedom in its purest manifestations: freedom of the mind, freedom to have the courage to speak up, freedom to be who you are with no fear, freedom to love yourself and others, freedom of choice, freedom to create peace in a violent world.
She often uses graffiti to superimpose “Lishi” or the question “what sets you free”, into the paintings.

The source pictures show street art and graf tags on the buildings, and she paints her tag and messages on the structures as if they existed in real life.

Lishi had an “aha moment” when she connected her freedom bird and the Zuni bird, a spirit animal of the Iroquois Nation that symbolizes freedom as well.
Zuni bird images were all around the house of Lishi’s paternal grandmother, whose grandmother was a full-blood member of the now extinct Beothuk Indian tribe and was one of the few remaining members who joined the Iroquois 5 Nations.
Perhaps the Zuni bird influenced Lish’s bird, but either way, that Freedom is in Alishia’s blood. Alishia is currently working on a collection that celebrates the Indian culture of her grandmother and painting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She gets in the zone she calls Lishi-Land, where she is listening to classic Hip-Hop, experiencing the new normal of semi-isolation while dreaming a new future and seeing her paintings take on a surrealist form. This collection will be ready to exhibit in 2020/2021.

Words by Dick Burroughs.

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