A Leamington artist and adventurer is hoping her latest work will help fund her attempt to take on “her greatest challenge”.
Leila Jevadi-Babreh, 30, wants to be the first English woman to complete the 1000-mile sled dog race from Alaska to the Yukon.
The event’s unnerving tagline ‘survive first, race second’ gives some sense of the undertaking that Leila is prepared to face.
Her painting, Summit Eagles, is the culmination of five winters living and sketching in the Alaskan wilderness, that has taken her to the gates of the Arctic and is one of the pieces that she hopes will get her to the start of the race and expose her to some of the world’s most extreme environmental conditions.
She said: “As a child I would be amazed by wildlife documentaries, watching in awe, but I would also feel a little saddened. I figured only privileged individuals could access such opportunities.
“Art was my release, as an introverted child I would much prefer to draw than to communicate with the big outside world, so much so that I had to go to speech therapy. However, as a teenager I learnt if I was willing to work, take on three jobs and keep focused for a goal, I might just achieve it.
“Now at 30, I sprint full speed ahead knowing undoubtedly that the only limitations are the ones we set ourselves.
“I am proud to be pursuing many of my dreams, painting my way to become the person I always envisioned me be. I still have a great amount of sponsorship money to raise before I can race but the 1000-miler, but I have raised enough to spend this winter racing mid-distance races in Alaska in order to refine my skills for the quest.”
“I hope I can share my work and inspire others to follow their heart, pick up a brush and believe in themselves to paint their own path. The love and support from my friends, family and work colleagues have enabled me to do just that,
“I look forward to bringing more wilderness inspired paintings home in spring.”
The Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race gets its name from the “highway of the north,” which is the Yukon River and the historical winter land routes travelled by prospectors, adventurers and mail and supply carriers traveling between the gold fields of the Klondike and those in the Alaska interior.