Southwest Piety is a collection of acrylic paintings completed by the artist 2018 – 2019. They are images of the female body framed by her Christian faith and childhood in the Southwest.
The artist was born in Tucson, Arizona desert, home of cacti and unique sunsets. The ethereal image of her parents baptized alongside one another was one of her first memories. A blissfully devout upbringing characterized her childhood, creating space for exploration of other faiths as an adult.
Faith in the dominant narrative is about sacrifice, purity and discipline. Faith in the lesser known context commands one to achieve those ideals through self-study. The artist explores this idea in her paintings. Much of the imagery in the artwork is inspired by Mexican Catholic art, but the colors are reminiscent of the Tucson sunset. The figures represent perfection found in femme energy.
Leung has spent time exploring religious sites all over the Southwest including Crestone, Colorado; Taos, New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. These solo explorations were remarkable to the artist, but at every pilgrimage to a religious site was the erasure of the self. The artist invites the viewer to include, if not insert, themselves into their studies of theology.