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Saskia Leek seeks out what is unique

27 September 2005

Saskia Leek seeks out what is unique in the forgotten and discarded

Saskia Leek seeks out the discarded and forgotten in her new exhibition Drifters. The exhibition is the result of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's 2005 Taranaki artist in residence programme in partnership with the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), and supported by Creative New Zealand

Assistant Curator Charlotte Huddleston comments: "The things we pass by every day and hardly notice, discarded trinkets and images that are unwanted or hung and forgotten hold a special appeal for Leek. She has borrowed from local places for her paintings featured in Drifters and her time in Taranaki will also influence her December exhibition at the Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco."

Leek has spent the past 12 weeks in New Plymouth working out of her studio at WITT for her exhibition at the Govett-Brewster. Her ideas and source material are often discovered through chance and coincidence. She is known for including images in her work that reference paintings and drawings found in second hand shops; however she also paints from photographs and observation. Although the paintings in Drifters will contain things familiar to those who know Taranaki her subjects may not be immediately obvious.

Horses, mountains, houses and bridges feature in a broad range of popular imagery and Leek's fascination with this type of image stems from the idea that through overuse these subjects have become meaningless. In spite of the fact that these works often depict predictable paint-by-numbers type scenes, they always contain something unique in their rendition. Leek uses these types of images as templates to delve further into established expectations of painting.

"We are pleased to have such a talented New Zealand artist producing new work as part of this residency project. A major focus of the residency programme is Leek's involvement with students in the fine arts programme at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki which helps them develop links with contemporary art in New Zealand," says Acting Director Kate Roberts.

Drifters opens at the Gallery on Saturday 1 October until 4 December 2005. Also showing at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is Artspace Germany, featuring some of the most acclaimed international artist from the late 20th Century, 1 October - 27 November 2005.


Saskia Leek, a graduate of Ilam School of Fine Art at Canterbury University, is a tutor in the School of Design at Unitec, Auckland and in the School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology. Leek is familiar to Govett-Brewster audiences having been the subject of a solo exhibition Forget the dead you've left 2002 and presenting work in In glorious dreams 2000.

Leek's exhibition in San Francisco opens at the Jack Hanley Gallery on 17 December 2005.

Opening weekend special events
Sunday 2 October at 1.00: Exhibition tour
Join Saskia Leek and Gallery staff for a tour of the exhibition.


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