Zaleha’s work lays a bridge in the imagination between darkness and the reassuring images of childhood, twisting traditional themes in unexpected directions. Although the paintings draw you into what might sometimes feel like a sad or perhaps even sinister world of ghostly woodland creatures, pensive characters and ethereal tones, also ever present is the invitation to revel in the light and playful shades inherent even in the deepest of shadows. Za loves painting late into night with the music of Leonard Cohen as her only company, until dreamlike creatures and characters honour her with their visitations and find a home on her canvases. Za equally loves her day job as an art therapist, where she has the privilege of witnessing the more elusive, fragile corners of the psyche find expression and healing in paint and paper. Za is inspired by the darkness and humour of David Lynch, the graphic novels of Daniel Clowes, the genius of Jon Klassen and the absurdity of the Muppets, and dreams of some day walking around the world with a donkey.