In Conversation with Eloise Harpas: Dance, Body Image and Making it in the U.S


  Eloise Harpas is a twenty-one-year-old professional dancer who has just returned home from the U.S. after a three-month scholarship at the Broadway Dance Centre in New York where she was awarded the ‘Outstanding Student Award’: the only Australian on a three-month scholarship to win it. After jumping on a plane with the intention of completing the three-month course in New York and the goal of being noticed within the U.S industry she successfully made connections in the Big Apple. Eager to push herself further, she extended her trip to Los Angeles to see what she could achieve in the… Continue Reading

Love, Shakespeare and Theatre: An Interview with Ray Chong Nee


  Let’s do a little exercise together shall we? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and clear your mind. Now think of a famous couple. Just go with the first thing that pops into your head. Now open your eyes and keep reading.   I’m guessing you probably thought of Kim and Kanye. Or Beyonce and Jay Z. Or perhaps, like Leiden’s copy editor Jesse Petrie whom I just made participate in this exercise, you might even have thought of Bert and Ernie. But let’s take it back a little further in history. Back to the beginnings of the… Continue Reading

Talking Music, Art, and Life with Grouplove


  Talking to Andrew Wessen, guitarist and vocalist from American indie-folk pop-rainbow band Grouplove, is like talking to an old friend. It doesn’t feel like a phone interview between an amateur music journalist and a highly successful musician. It feels like a fun chat, we’re laughing and reminiscing. After we joke about Wessen’s inability to say ‘Melbourne’ in an Australian accent, I ask him what he’s been enjoying about Grouplove’s February tour through our east coast. ‘We’re in a hot streak right now. We’re playing new music, and it’s been fun because, having three records out, you get to pull… Continue Reading

Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery


  Crafting has been making a come back over the last decade or so, largely due to our increasing desire to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the mindful act of creating with our hands. This desire is something Caitlin Tubb knew all too well as she started her rather cheeky embroidery business Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery. A curvaceous bottom or perky breast may not be the sort of subject matter you would typically see embroidered into an artwork but it is undeniably fun and provoking. We caught up with her to find out just what made her pick up… Continue Reading

A Chat with Sarah Morrison – Musicals, ABBA and Mamma Mia


  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am not a fan of musicals. All that sing-talking makes me want to puke into my favourite Miu Miu cat clutch. And yet, despite my propensity to vomit at the mere hint of a sentence that screams to be spoken rather than sung, I actively go and see a lot of musicals. And if they are more of a play interspersed with the occasional song, I confess to rather enjoying myself. The latest musical to come my way is the West End and Broadway smash Mamma Mia, a… Continue Reading

Talking Makeup with Katie Saarikko


  We love beauty and makeup. We also love finding out what makes people tick, so it’s always a pleasure to combine the two when we sit down to chat with a makeup artist. Not only does Katie Saariko run her own thriving business, she works as the creative director of Makeup for FASHFEST and teaches at the Canberra Institute of Technology. We caught up with this incredible artist to pick her brains about it all.   Leiden: What first drew you to makeup? Katie: I’ve always been interested in art. I won a few drawing and painting competitions as… Continue Reading

Kim Churchill’s Top Ten Albums


  Singer songwriter Kim Churchill is a busy man. Not only is he releasing a new album, he is about to set off on a huge national tour. Weight_Falls, the follow up to Silence/Win, almost didn’t come together. After working on the album for over eighteen months, Churchill decided at the last minute that what he had produced wasn’t quite good enough. He then decided to throw it out and start again. After a hectic week writing followed by a couple of months piecing everything together, Churchill ended up with something adventurous, intuitive and surprising. For lovers of his past… Continue Reading

Talking Science with Erica Heidger from the Creative Element


  It’s National Science Week and instead of celebrating all things science for just one week, we thought we would celebrate all month long. That’s why we are dedicating the entire month of August to women kicking butt in science and tech. We got the ball rolling with our interview with Madi from Shirty Science and now we are chatting with Erica Heidger from science based start-up The Creative Element. As well as offering training and consulting services, The Creative Element puts on amazing community events. Their incredibly popular adults-only event, Pretty Dangerous Science, includes workshops where you can learn… Continue Reading