(b. 1943 Johannesburg, South Africa)
Leigh Voigt was born in Johannesburg in 1943 and is the daughter of the botanical artist, Barbara Jeppe. She studied at the Johannesburg School of Art, but before deciding to devote her time to art Leigh worked for an advertising agency between 1962 and 1968.
The wildlife studies executed by Leigh Voigt have great sensitivity and are remarkable for the wonderful use of colour. She is particularly well-known for her bird studies and depiction of small wild creatures. Leigh concentrates on the patterns, which identify various animals, rather than the details, which describe them - the spots in the guinea fowl, the stripes on the francolin. This empathy with the essence of the creatures, which she portrays has caused her charming works to be much in demand as book illustrations. In 1981 she illustrated a book written by Marguerite Poland called Once at Kwa Fubesill and more recently Sambane´s Dream and other Stories also by Poland. Sonoog - Die Lewe van ‘n Graatjiell by Rudolf Erasmus was also illustrated by Leigh. Her original illustrations for the article "The Rarest Birds in the World" for the International Wildlife Magazine were exhibited at the Wildlife Gallery, Toronto.
Her first solo exhibition was in 1967 at the Lloyd Ellis Gallery. Since then she has held many successful solo shows and participated in selected group exhibitions throughout South Africa. In 1973 she participated in the International Botanical Art Exhibition and in the "Winter 17311” exhibition in Johannesburg. She participated in the Wildlife Artists of The World exhibition at The Everard Read Gallery in 1985, held a successful solo exhibition at The Sanderling Gallery in 1987, and participated in the 1988 Wildlife Exhibition at The Sanderling Gallery. In 1991, 1992 and 1995 Leigh´s work was included on the International Wildlife and Natural History Exhibitions held at The Everard Read Gallery.
Leigh is a keen conservationist who devotes time to assisting organizations such as the Endangered Wildlife Trust. She donates paintings to raise funds for endangered animals and her Rand Daily Mail newspaper column with Sue Hart, entitled "In the Wild" did much to foster conservation awareness.
In 2004 the highly acclaimed book on the Nguni Cattle of Southern Africa was launched. “The Abundant Herds” is written by Marguerite Poland and David Hammond-Tooke. Leigh was invited to work closely with these experts and spent nine years researching her subject and painting hundreds of watercolours and about eighty large oil paintings to illustrate this important Southern African publication.
A versatile artist, Leigh designs and creates beautiful tapestries, and is also a talented portrait painter.
Leigh is married to the artist Harold Voigt and they have two sons, Max, an architect and Walter, an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. The family live in a mountain-top house designed and built by Harold.