General info
Sydney, Australia
Leesa's creative journey explores the repurposing and transformation of common, natural and unusual waste. Utilizing discarded objects gathered from public places, business sites and home, she reconfigures and connects her materials to unearth both beauty and form. Her works are a curiosity shop of compositions, designed to make high end visual statements about our throw-away society.
Projects & Events
Work selected for online digital exhibition for the
Collaboration with Gorman Contest
Selected to participate in:

3D Poolside Exhibition
Aquatic Centre
Frenchs Forest NSW
Exhibition: 19 October 2019 - 26 April 20
Your free guide to sustainable making. Join me and fellow artist's & designers Angela Van Boxtel and Stephanie Powell - all previous winners of the Kimbriki Artist in Residence and passionate advocates for creative reuse across a wide range of disciplines..

Title: Creating for the Future

Date/Time: Wednesday 23 October 6-8pm

Location: Tramshed Arts & Community Centre
1395A Pittwater Road
Narrabeen NSW 2097

For bookings and enquiries please contact:

Rachel Carroll on: 02 9942 2969

Selected to create a visual response to a written story as part of a collection of works for the inaugural Art and Words Project. The printed anthology will be available for purchase at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum and all Northern Beaches Library locations for the duration of the Manly Arts Festival. Artworks, printed anthology and images will also be displayed on a digital screen as part of the 2019 Festival.

Theme: Saltwater
Short story written by Katika Funnell titled: Fluid Sequence
Artwork response by Leesa Knights titled: Saltwater Symphony

Mixed media box framed assemblage (800x900)

April-September 2019
MsChief Bake Brunch Brews,
GO3/105 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest NSW

Design and construction of four revolving paintings on 60cm diameter panel boards for new cosmopolitan café feature wall

Installed August 2019

Previous Kimbriki artists in Residence Promotional Video
created by Kevin Case, MainFocus Productions
For Northern Beaches Council NSW

Video live July 2019

One of Sydney's largest annual street festivals supported by the local community to celebrate the history and culture of the area. The festival began in 1985 to mark the life and legacy of one of the districts most famous citizens, Maria Ann Smith, also known as Granny Smith.

Artworks selected by Ryde Council for showcase at the Green Hub, an initiative by the sustainability team to promote/highlight waste diversion and waste to art.

Eastwood Shopping Precinct and Oval
Eastwood, NSW 2122

Saturday 20 October 2018
The sixth annual Newport Sculpture Trail aims to energise the cultural offerings for communities on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and is an exciting calendar of events that is now part of the new contemporary Totem Arts Festival.

4m muralled kayak 'Like a River Runs surely to the Sea' selected for festival installation

Newport Village
Northern Beaches,
NSW Australia

Friday 26th October - Sunday 11 November
A community focused promotion designed to engage and encourage the public to respond to the newly installed bespoke artworks on Level 1 of Broadway Shopping Centre. Curated by Art Pharmacy Consulting in collaboration with five Sydney artists and their site specific works which respond to the New York loft style refurbishment and the iconic buildings urban surrounds.

Promotional Art Unveiling
Broadway Shopping Centre
Sydney, Australia

July 24-Aug 24 2018
Completed and installed a public artwork for the New York Loft inspired renovation of Level 1, Broadway Shopping Centre in Sydney, Australia. One of four artists selected by Mirvac to design, create and install a site specific work in collaboration with Art Pharmacy Pty Ltd.

Title: Graffiti Rain
Medium: Salvaged graffiti paint
Measurements: 0.5 sq m x 4m height
Installed on 30 May 2018

Jan 2018 - June 2018
Invited by The Northern Beaches Council as one of four guest panel speakers on the subject of Art Residencies. Sharing detail of my personal application process and the subsequent journey of my 6 month artist in residence program.

Title: Artist Residencies - 'Why they're awesome and how to score one'.
Eramboo Artist Environment,
304 McCarrs Creek Rd,
Terrey Hills NSW

9 September 2017
The Flying Fish Installation was a free event in collaboration with The 4 Pines Brewery to celebrate all things creative and sustainable on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

I designed and installed a canoe that I had salvaged from the side of the road, restored and then hand painted with an organic mural across the underbelly and the interior inscribed with the story of the canoes journey from trash to treasure. The work was displayed in the rafters of the 4 Pines Headquarters in Brookvale as part of the 2017 Manly Arts Festival

Truck Bar, 4 Pines Brewery HQ
4G/9-13 Winbourne Rd,
Brookvale NSW.

September 2017
Temporary Art Installation for the duration of the 2017 Australian Open of Surfing.

A temporary installation suspended in the roof space of the VIP tent showcasing a free flowing black tribal style mural across the entire white underbelly of a rescued kayak.

VIP Tent
Manly Beach,
NSW Australia

 28 Feb - 8 March 2017
Ebb & Flow series was a site specific, temporary outdoor art installation to celebrate the iconic Manly Ferry.

A collaboration between Carol Havener (owner of the Little Christmas Ferry Co), Katherine Roberts (Senior Curator at Manly Art Gallery & Museum) and myself. Five panels showcasing harbour inspired patterns re-using hundreds of reject wooden ferries. 

Nov-Dec 2016
A site specific public artwork installed into the grounds of the Eco House and Garden as part of my 2015 Artist in Residence with Warringah Council and Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre.

Salvaged telegraph poles were positioned, sanded and painted with wild flowers, imaginary root systems and playful 3D attachments which sensitively integrated with the eco garden environment. The artworks are exposed to the elements and therefore designed to weather with time so that they become one with their surroundings.

Title: The Totem Series 2016
Medium: Wood, China, Plastic and Metal
Installation: November 2016

Eco House & Garden
Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre
Terrey Hills, NSW Australia

 Creative period: Nov 2015 - Nov 2016
Sustainable styling and interior colour consultation for Sydney business including stairwell, foyer and hallway.

Bikram Yoga,
Brookvale, NSW 2100

 May - July 2016
Suspended Black and White Sculptural Installation above the bar for the duration of the 2016 Australian Open of Surfing.

VIP Lounge
Manly Beach,
NSW, Australia

 27 Feb - 6 March 2016
3D Grumpy Faces created from everyday waste materials for use in animation project.
Social Media event to encourage the public to say NO to plastic bags.

Northern Beaches,
Sydney, Australia

June - July 2015
Selected Group Exhibitions
Selected to participate in a four week festival of art, wine and culture

Held in cellar doors and surrounding vineyards
Wollombi, Hunter Valley NSW

Exhibition dates: 2 - 18 November 2018
Invited to participate in an independent exhibition of sculptural artworks referencing jewellery concurrent with and under the umbrella of Sculpture in the Vineyards 2018

The Fireshed Gallery
Wollombi NSW Australia

Exhibition dates: 2 - 18 November 2018

Two artworks selected 
Sustainable Waste to Art Category
See Street Gallery
Meadowbank Campus
Northern Sydney Institute part of TAFE
 Ryde NSW

 Exhibition dates: 20 Sept - 4 Oct 2018
General and Small Sculpture Category

The Creative Space,
Curl Curl, Sydney

Exhibition dates: 10 August - 19 August
Waste to Art Category

The Creative Space
Curl Curl, Sydney

Exhibition dates: 24 Aug to 2 Sept
Outdoor art exhibition showcasing selected artworks throughout the historic village of Wollombi and across 3 boutique Vineyards including: Undercliff Winery, Stonehurst Cedar Creek and Noyce Brothers

Wollombi, NSW Australia

Exhibition: 29 October - 3 December 2017
Sustainable Waste to Art Category,
See Street Gallery,
Meadow Bank Campus
Northern Sydney Institute
part of TAFE, NSW

Exhibition: 7 Sept - 20 Sept  2017
Waste to Art and Youth Exhibition
The Creative Space,
Curl Curl, Sydney

 25 Aug until 3 Sept 2017
Outdoor Group Exhibition

Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk.
Hidden Exhibition
Rookwood Cemetery
NSW Australia

26 August - 24 September 2017
Dee Why RSL Exhibition 2017
Extended show of Northern Beaches Art Prize Small Sculpture category

by the category sponsor Dee Why RSL.

Pittwater Rd
Dee Why, NSW

21 August - 3 September 2017
General and Small Sculpture Category

The Creative Space,
 Curl Curl, Sydney

 11 Aug until 20 Aug 2017
Invited to join the Child Artist Response Project. A  Collaboration with Big Kids Magazine &
Manly Art Gallery & Museum.

West Esplanade
Manly, NSW Australia

7 April - 21 May 2017
Selected as a finalist for the annual outdoor group exhibition, exhibiting an elevated muralled kayak amongst the trees.

Stonehurst Cedar Creek Winery
Hunter Valley,
NSW, Australia

 29 October - 4 December 2016
2 x Assemblage Works
Invitation into Group Show

Wollombi Arts Council's
Old Fire Shed Gallery
Wollombi NSW

 5 Nov - 27 Nov 2016
Sustainable Waste to Art

See St Gallery,
Sydney, Australia

 Aug - Sept 2016
Selected Group Exhibition

Waste to Art Category

Warringah Creative Space,
Abbott Rd, Curl Curl,
NSW, Australia

August 2016
Selected Group Exhibition

B-Side Creative Space,
Brookvale, Sydney

June 2016
Sustainable Waste to Art Prize

See St Gallery,

Aug-Sept 2015
Waste to Art Category
Warringah Creative Space
Abbot Rd, Curl Curl
August 2015
Sustainable Waste to Art Prize

See Street Gallery,
Meadowbank Campus
The Northern Sydney Institute
part of TAFE, NSW

August 2014
Waste to Art Category
If You Like Art

July 2014
Selected for Group Show
‘Certain Nature' showcased the diverse works of 9 local artists to celebrate the inaugural opening of a new creative space in Curl Curl, Sydney. Warringah Council and Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre transformed an old dilapidated scout hall into a unique multi-functional art space, benefitting local artists and the wider community.

'Live to Earth' was my first art installation exploring the journey of man made materials and their relationships with the natural living world.

 Exhibition: 14 March - 11 April 2014
I was invited to be part of the 2013 Manly Arts Festival, collaborating with 'The two Hands Project' and 'East Coast Odyssey'.

On a mission to draw attention to the Colourful Killers (Plastic) that litter our oceans, I set sail around Sydney Harbour on board the "Yukon' a 22ft Dutch Sail Ship and created an on board sculpture to reflect the devastating effects that plastic has upon our marine life.

September 2013
Waste to Art Category
 If You Like Art

July 2013
Dee Why RSL Exhibition 2012
Show of 2012 Waste to Art winners
by Dee Why RSL Sponsor

Dee Why, Sydney

 August 2012
Waste to Art Category
Artfocus Gallery

 July 2012
Waste to Art Category
Artfocus Gallery

 July 2011
Website Image Gallery
Travelling Photographic Exhibition

2011 Strategic Community Plan (full page image credit)

 October 2011
Website Image Gallery

Travelling Photographic Exhibition
 Northern Beaches,

 September 2010
Waste to Art Category
 Artfocus Gallery


 July 2010
Waste to Art Category
 Artfocus Gallery


 July 2009
Solo Exhibitions
Salvaged 2017
A solo exhibition in conjunction with Sculpture in Vineyards 2017 Works created from foraged  and salvaged materials to highlight  the delicate relationship between nature and man.

Cessnock Regonal Art Gallery
Vincent Street,
Cessnock NSW

October 25 to Dec 3, 2017
End of Residency Solo Exhibition

The Warringah Creative Space
Curl Curl

 Sept - Oct 2015
Flights of Fancy 2013
Solo exhibition on the deck. An installation of 3D site specific sculpture panels.

Angel Restaurant and Gallery
Queenscliff, NSW

June - Sept 2013
First Solo Exhibition

Angel Restaurant & Gallery
Queenscliff, NSW

7 Sept - 11 October 2011
Awards and Residencies
Open Category
Sustainable Waste to Art Prize 2018

Ryde, NSW
Small Sculpture Category.

Northern Beaches Art Prize 2017.
Artist Residency 2015
6 month Artist residency Program with
Warringah Council & Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre

On-site studio
Kimbriki, Ingleside, Sydney

May 2015 - November 2015
Honourable Mention Award 2012
Waste to Art Category.
Warringah Art Prize 2012.

Northern Beaches
Facilitation and Exhibition Curation
- Present
Workshop Facilitator
Workshop Facilitator

Sustainable Art Practices
Skills based lessons in:
Sculpture, Assemblage

Corporate and Private groups
Queenscliff, Sydney
Nov 2011 - Aug 2013
Gallery Manager
Overseeing the artistic direction of the gallery space
Marketing, advertising and promoting exhibitions to the wider community
Networking with artists, media groups and members of the public
May 2011 - Present
Property stylist
Private Clients
Eco friendly Interior styling of wall works and upcycled furniture
For multiple clients.

Private Northern Beaches addresses
Feb 2008 - Sep 2011
Art Consultant
Newport Beach Artworks
Relationship Building, Sales and Marketing
Curatorial and Exhibition Assistant
Framing and Gallery Maintenance

Jun 2006 - Mar 2008
Art Teacher
Artzkool for Play Planet
Research, Program Design and coordination
Facilitating after school mixed media art classes
Focusing on fun projects, creative development and individual expression
Evaluations and Assessments

Winchester, UK
Sep 1984 - Jun 1987
BA (Hons) Fine Art
Winchester School of Art
Major in Sculpture
Art History including European architecture
Worked with clay, fibre, wood, glass and plastics
Yeovil, UK
Sep 1982 - Jun 1984
Yeovil Art College
Foundation course in Art and Design
Photography, sculpture, pottery, textiles,
printmaking, painting and still life drawing.
Twenty four Northern Beaches artists and writers will feature in a new exhibition touring our six libraries and the Manly Art Gallery and Museum as a special highlight of this year's Manly Arts Festival (6 - 29 September).

In the run up to this years festival, local writers and poets were invited to write original literary responses to the theme 'Saltwater', working under the guidance of award-winning author Zena Shapter.

A specially selected group of twelve artists was then asked to create visual responses to the writer's works.

The paintings, photographs and mixed media artworks will be available for sale and also displayed on a 24 hour digital screen at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum (on West Esplanade Reserve).

The writers' and artists' works arer also to be published in an anthology as a permanent testament to their creative partnerships. Copies of the anthology will be available for purchase at the Northern beaches Libraries ($20).

The entire exhibition will be launched at Manly Library on Thursday 12 September (6-7.30pm) and individual works will be shown across the Northern Beaches Library network.

Participating writers are Tara Ray, Claire Hampson, Katika Funell, Lachlan Roach, Tullie Helene, Susan Steggall, Katie Zelic, Sonia Zadro, Rodney Jensen, Kristin Prescott, Menios Constantinou and Barbara Hatten.

Associated artists are Jude Hungerford, Sally Mayman, Leesa Knights, Christine Farkas, Nettie Lodge, Susie Baxter-Smith, Vicki Ratcliff, Gloria Florez, Megan Barrass, Belinda Elliot, Katrina Lezaic and Tracy Anderson.
Style Guide - buy art online
June, July & August Winter Edition 2019

Artwork title: Metamorphosis
Artist Profile: Leesa Knights
Blog Post by author Zena Shapter
Founder of the Art and Words Project

8 April 2019
Art for All
Local News
Manly & Northern Beaches

31 July 2018
Art for All Exhibition
Arts Entertainment and Promotional News
Broadway Shopping Centre
Sydney Australia

25 July 2018
Promotional news for Art and About

Broadway Shopping Centre
Sydney Australia

July 2018
A narrated video highlighting the inspiration and vision for the public artwork Graffiti Rain.

Video created for:
Broadway Shopping Centre
Sydney Australia

Credit to: Camera Guy, Kearon de Clouet
19 July 2018
Narrated video of the installation of four new art columns located on:

Level One
Broadway Shopping Centre
Sydney, Australia

Video credit to: Art Pharmacy and Mirvac NSW

18 July 2018
Website and Instagram media release
Sculpture in the Vineyards
Wollombi, NSW Australia

17 July 2018
News/Media Release
Sculpture in the Vineyards
Wollombi, NSW Australia

December 2017
News/Media Release
Northern Beaches Council
Mentioned and quoted as former Artist in Residence

9 November 2017
News/Media Release
A creative and educational collaboration between Cessnock East Public School, Sculpture in the Vineyards and Cessnock Regional Art Gallery, Hunter Valley, NSW Australia

27 October 2017

Weekend Planner
Herald Advertiser

27 October 2017

Blog Review of Hidden Exhibition

Rookwood Cemetery

October 8, 2017
New/Media Release
The Advertiser

Creative and educational collaboration with Cessnock East Primary School, Sculpture in the Vineyards and Cessnock Regional Art Gallery

19 Sept 2017
Hidden Exhibition
Rookwood Cemetery
Credit: Like a River Runs surely to the Sea
Getty Images - Australia

4 September 2017
Small Sculpture Category
Encouragement Award
'Being' - Leesa Knights

August 2017
Hidden Exhibition
Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk

May 2017

Great Wall of Symbolic Ferries making a Splash
Rod Bennet,
Manly Daily

17 November 2016
Warringah Council Press Release
(via public)

11 October 2016
Waste Not, Want Not
Rod Bennet,
Manly Daily

9 September 2015
Video summarizing 2015 Art Residency experience
Kimbriki Resource and Recovery Centre

Duration: 3:05
Posted: 28 September 2015
Design Credit: Ray Falzon

Manly Daily
Multiple Posts a Press Releases for the 'Certain Nature' Exhibition

Warringah Creative Space,
Curl Curl, Sydney, Australia

Throughout March 2014
Mi Society website news

13 March 2014
2013 Manly Arts Festival
East Coast Odyssey Tours
Setting Sail to Catch the Colourful Killers

Sydney Harbour

 September 2013
Featured in the Sydney Weekender
During Off the Wall Exhibition

Angel Restaurant
Queenscliff Sydney

 3 March 2012
Sydney Morning Herald
Arts and Entertainment Press Release
Off the Wall solo exhibition

7 September 2011
Manly Daily
Press Release
Off the Wall solo exhibition

 9 September 2011
Community Work
Creative Collaboration 2017
Created a large scale black and white assemblage in collaboration with Cessnock East Public School and Kes Harper, Curator of Sculpture in the Vineyrads 2017. The wall work was featured in my 2017 solo show Salvaged at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery in Oct 2017 with a diary document and video created by the children. Post exhibition the artwork was donated and then relocated to Cessnock East Public School for permanent display

April - Dec 2017
Donation of 3 x Manly Ferry installation panels

Originally designed for Carol Havener (Little Christmas Ferry Co) and  displayed as a set of 5 in the forecourt of Manly Art Gallery & Museum.

The Royal Far West School.
Manly, NSW

Jan 2017
Donation of 2 x Manly Ferry installation panels

Originally designed for Carol Havener (Little Christmas Ferry Co)  and displayed as a set of 5 in the forecourt of Manly Art Gallery & Museum

Manly, NSW

Dec 2016
Advice & Design for Multiple Interior & Exterior Art-scaping projects
Donation of 3 x Bouy Installations and 1 x Wall Sculpture

Donations were originally on show at 'Everything but the kitchen sink' solo exhibition
Warringah Creative Space
Curl Curl, NSW

Fisher Road School
Dee Why

 2015 - 2017
Creative Disussion
with Artscape & Warringah Council
Regarding proposed upgrade of Dee Why Town Centre
Creative Discussions 2013
Adult Day Care Program
Flintwood Disability Centre
Brookvale, Sydney
Premium Plus Membership

National Association of the Visual Arts
Sydney, Australia