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Art straddles boundary between painting and sculpture

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Hawke’s Bay-based artist Leanne Morrison says she’s really excited to showcase her new exhibition Off the Edge to a local audience at Hastings City Art Gallery this coming Friday.

Going against convention the five works that comprise this collection are being displayed in the middle of the Alcove and Foyer galleries rather than on the walls.

“It’s suggesting that painting can be seen for both its illusionistic qualities as well as its object materiality of the thing, hovering somewhere between painting and sculpture,” Morrison says.

“I think of my paintings as works in progress, provisional, a thing under construction. It’s not 2D flatness – I build up the shallow depths of paint with a spray gun to create texture, and sometimes the colour is transparent and you can see the layer below, at other times opaque, covering and hiding layers.

“The cotton of the canvas is also as much a feature of the work as anything else - its stretch over the wood, what is happening on the reverse of the canvas – I am pushing the idea of expanding the forms beyond the surface of the painting into the space of the viewer.”

Having worked and travelled extensively in her younger years, including living in the UK for a time, it wasn’t until she moved to Hawke’s Bay in about 2001 with her Irish husband that she turned her focus to art.

After gaining a diploma in art and design from Eastern Institute of Technology, she followed up with a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Design, and then a Master of Fine Arts qualification from Whitecliff College of Arts and Design in Auckland.

“I was very lucky I was picked up quickly by Milford Galleries in Dunedin – I’ve had a solo show and a few group shows there – I feel very privileged to be doing something that means everything to me and that other people might enjoy.”

She says the intention behind her works is to create a moment that people might connect with - maybe a reminder of a place or an event, or it may spark an interest in the material quality of the works how the paint slips around the edges of the canvas, the way the works exist as objects in their own rights, not just as paintings.

People are invited to attend the opening at 5.30pm on Friday, December 6, and if they want to find out more about Morrison’s works they can also attend the free floortalk on Saturday, December 7 at 11am – both at Hastings City Art Gallery.

This exhibition will be in place until February 23, joining two other new displays that have recently opened  - Richard Brimer’s Harvest (on until March 1, 2020) and Andy Leleisi’uao’s Kamoan Mine (on until March 22, 2020).

Photo: Leanne Morrison with her work “Golden Sash” – one of five that are being installed for the upcoming exhibition Off the Edge.

3 December 2019

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