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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark....

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark....amateur ice-skating....soft lighting - new show @ Michael Hirschfeld Gallery

Press Release Gallery Seven (10,000 metres) by Maddie Leach The Michael Hirschfeld Gallery Until 4 November 2001

Fans of '80s pop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and anyone with memories of Saturday afternoons at 'Skate World' or 'Paradise' will feel at home with a new exhibition by Wellington artist Maddie Leach. In Gallery Seven (10,000 Metres), the artist has re-decorated the Gallery, complete with carpet and soft lighting, as a corporate box or elite sports bar, from which visitors can view a large-scale video projection of amateur ice-skaters moving to the synthesised sounds of OMD.

Leach says she has had a 'watery fascination' for some time now. Aquariums, swimming pools and a recreational island-reserve, with a history as a leper colony, have found their way into her installations and photography. Her attention has recently turned to the ice-rink-which, like these other zones, carries romantic associations of silence and idleness. With Gallery Seven (10,000 metres) Leach continues to investigate the merging of the sporting and the artistic, the public and the private, the ideas of performance and contemplation. Watching and being watched are significant elements in spending time at the ice-rink. There are also parallels with the leisurely act of visiting an art gallery! The exhibition's title refers to the speed-skating race of 10,000 metres (the maximum distance reserved for male skaters). But instead of racing athletes, we see amateur skaters cutting the ice with various degrees of precision and artfulness.

Born in 1970, Maddie Leach has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Canterbury. She exhibits in artist-run spaces and public galleries throughout New Zealand. Earlier this year her photographic work was included in Parallel Worlds, a collaborative exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery of Victoria University, Wellington and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. In 2000 her work was included in Sister Spaces at Southern Exposure in San Francisco. Maddie Leach lives in Wellington and teaches at Massey University.

Gallery Seven - 10,000 Metres is presented within the 360 programme - a full perspective on Wellington Art - which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Generously supported by Montana Wines Ltd and Ruth Pretty Catering. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from the Wellington City Council. ENDS

Anne Irving Publicist T: 04 801 3959

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