Wendy Leach

October 3, 2018

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Light Painting 01-85 and Light Painting 23-82, a blend of photography, painting, and performance, explore how the qualities of light - however transient and temporary - can be used in a painterly manner and recorded photographically. 

 

This ARTWEEK Comet is privileged to exhibit these works for the first time since their reanimation as Light Boxes, and we welcome you all to come and see them as part of our upcoming City Lights event this Saturday!

 

We spoke to Wendy about her evolution as an artist and what drew her exploration of mark making into the light...

 

“Leach’s new works explode with abstract energy, new vigour, and freedom….  Her approach is intuitive - she paints autonomously, free from external influence - avoiding subject and genre yet there is structure, line, and rhythm. Her mark making skills are strong as she plays with swirls, splashes, and drips - perhaps evoking Pollock and Kandinsky.”  - Desirée Opiat-Prinsloo   

Who or what are your biggest influences?

 

In relation to the 'Time Space Light' and ‘Absence/ Presence' themes of my light paintings, my MFA thesis included discussion of contemporary and historical artists, including Marian Drew, Darren Glass, William Kentridge, Len Lye, David Reed, Eadweard Muybridge, and Gjon Mili in collaboration with Pablo Picasso.

 

What is the one instrument indispensable to your creative process? What couldn't you work/live without?

 

My mind/spirit is the instrument that is indispensable to my creative process along with my understanding of colour and my inherent use of movement, whether it's my light paintings, my current acrylics or my earlier work.

 

Finally, what one piece of advice you have received or would like to give that has guided you in your career?

 

If you want a long career as an artist, you first need to be true to yourself. There's a place within yourself you need to connect with. It might take years, but when you find it you will know.

Don’t follow trends if you want to last the distance.

 

Find out more about Wendy Leach at her website: www.wendyleach.com

How did you establish your style and how would you describe it?

 

I took on MFA study as a catalyst for change in my practice. I did have a strong recognisable style once, and I found I got locked into it. It became a curse. The best way I can describe my work now is autonomous mark-making and the layering of marks, whether it's with paint or light.  

 

How/Why have you incorporated light into your creative process? Can you describe what that component aims to reveal or say about your work?

 

The combined qualities of light and movement are an exciting combination for a painter. While light itself is transient and temporary, the qualities of light can be used in a painterly manner. My interest here was in the practice of painting and mark-making with light and the layering of these marks in time and space.
 

To facilitate this, I hired a storage unit, blackened the interior walls and floor, set up my camera on a tripod, switched off the light and used time-elapse photography to record my movements and ‘performance’ using various types of lights to make different types of ‘marks’. The freedom of that experience changed my art practice for ever.

Written by Alicia Taylor