Studio: Flaxart, 44 -46 Corporation Street, Belfast
Qualifications BA (Hons) in Fine and Applied Art, University of Ulster, Belfast
Artist Statement: My practice stems from a broad fascination with the world around me. Realised through: drawing; archives; digital imagery; interactive social practice; story; moving image; and installation. My work has an informal archival feel of association that contains moments of the unexpected. These allow the viewer to create their own narratives as they are brought through unusual rumors, local lore, historic or accurate happenings to moments of collective consciousness.
The viewer is presented with an amalgam of installations, minimalist drawing and make-shift collections. Stemming from a lifelong obsession with collecting, the subject matter combines influences from travel, social interactions, history, iconography, myths, legends and museum categorization. These are presented in humourous ways that entice the viewer to decipher connections and explore the multiple narratives set before them.
I see my art practice as an adventure. I’m an explorer presenting my discoveries. I select and create imagery that draws in the viewer through the familiar and the commonplace.“She seems to have a knack for finding the bizarre and unique, sometimes under your very nose, in locations you pass by every day. There are moments when her work can make one feel, as Walker Percy would say, “sunk into our own everydayness.” This exchange is perhaps what is most compelling about Leech’s practice; it challenges the unexamined inheritances of our day-to day affairs.” David Hawkins for Cville newspaper, USA, 2013.
Upcoming 2020. Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, UK
1st-24th June 2017. ‘Mourne Mountains’, PS2 Paragon Studios, Belfast, UK
24th Nov 2013. ‘What’s yours is mine, but you don’t know it…’ CHRCH Project Space, NY, USA
1st Nov – 26th Nov 2013. ‘Virginia Is For..’ , The Bridge PAI, Charlottesville VA, USA
14th Feb- 16th March 2012 ‘THEY ARE NOT ALBINOS’ Mailbox141, Melbourne, Australia
Upcoming February ‘The Odd Collection’ , Pollen Studios, Belfast
17th-28th January 2018. ‘True/False/Fake/Real’, Espacio Gallery, London, UK
August 2016. ‘Double Vision’, Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku, Lapua, Finland
16th May – 24th June. ‘Eden’s Blueprint’, Peroia City Gallery, Arizona, USA
14th – 20th May. ‘International Mini Print Biennial’, Seacourt: The Centre for Contemporary Printmaking, Bangor, N.Ireland
January 2016 ‘Art Vend Project’ Oriel Wrecsam, Wrexham, Wales
23rd Oct–5th Dec 2015 ‘Vanishings Futures: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art’, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
5th-26th February 2015 ‘Basic Operation’,Catalyst Arts, Belfast
8th-29th January 2015 ‘LEFTOVERS’,Golden Thread (Project Space), Belfast
5th – 13th June 2014. ‘State Of Play’ Pollen Studios, Belfast
10th January – 1st Feb 2013. ’16th and Minnesota’, Golden Thread (Project Space), Belfast
21st September 2012. ‘Transatlantic Diner’ live link up in New York & Belfast
14th April – June 2012 ‘Rolling on my Bleeding Heart‘ Lumen8 Anacostia Washington DC, USA
21st May – 12th June 2010. ‘Art Rebels’ Catalyst Arts, Belfast
18th – 30th November 2008. ‘Meet me at sunset’, Gallery 4 All Arts, Liverpool.
27th March 2008. ‘SIM Artists Residency Show’ Icelandic Visual Artists, Reykjavik.
18th – 31st of October 2007. ‘Annual Student Show’ Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
July 2007. ‘Fresh paint’ Carlinn Gallery, Carlingford, Ireland.
Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku Jan 2nd – Jan 15th 2017, Lapua, Finland
Tyrone Guthrie Jan 31st – Feb 8th 2016, Co.Monaghan, Ireland
Digital Arts Studios Residency Feb – May 2014, Belfast, N.Ireland
CHRCH Project Space Residency Nov 2013, Ulster County NY, USA
The Bridge PAI Residency Program Sept-Oct 2013, Charlottesville VA, USA
ARCH Artist in Residency Program Feb-April 2012, Washington DC, USA
Travel and Research Break in Australia & New Zealand Oct 2009- 2011
residence SHAC 1st – 7th March 2009, ‘Edible windmills’ , Belfast, N.Ireland
The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) March 2008, Reykjavík, Iceland
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council award for Tyrone Guthrie funded residency, 2015
Golden Thread Gallery – Career Enhancement Scheme May 2014 – April 2015
Arts Council of Northern Ireland Seven Awards- Oct 2017, Oct 2015 & June 2014 General Arts Award, June 2013 Self Arranged Residency, Jan 2012 Washington DC Artist Residency, Nov 2011 Travel Award, Nov 2011 General Arts Award
Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton Collection ‘2016 an Image of Ireland Contemporary Artists from Ireland’ 2016
Golden Thread Gallery ‘Vanishings Futures: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art’ by Peter Richards. Belfast, Northern Ireland
residence ‘Residence February 2008- September 2009’ September 2009
EMPLOYMENT AND PROJECTS
Strand Arts Centre Programme Manager, Sept 2013 – current
Special events, film, theatre, art, music & workshop programmer.
Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive presenter Dec 2017 – current
Presenter for Digital Film Archive content to community groups and public.
East Belfast Arts Festival / TETHER Board Member, Dec 2012 – 2016
Visual Arts programmer – exhibitions, project manager, and workshop co-ordinator
Catalyst Arts Archive Committee member & assistant researcher, Jan 2012 – current
Archiving and planning projects and the future accessibility of Catalyst Archive.
Belfast Photo Festival Festival Coordinator & Artistic Director, Oct 2011- Sept 2013
Administration, organising events, workshops and exhibitions
Belfast City Council ‘Late Night Art’, Co-ordinator and Tour guide, 2007-2009, Sept 2011-current
Tasks: Co-ordinated events, Specialised Art tour guide, various research and development responsibilities of the Late Night Art project.
Young at Art Freelance Events Manager July 2012 – current
Project managing events and workshops.
Foto Foyle, Assistant to creative director, 12 Jan – 11th Feb 2012, Derry/Londonderry
Curation and installation of works at The Playhouse and The Tower Museum.
Open House Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, Volunteer 7-9th Oct 2011
Managed volunteers and provided information to visitors.
Melbourne Open House, Melbourne, Australia, Volunteer 30th-31st July 2011
Managed volunteers and provided information to visitors.
International Symposium for Electronic Arts, Artists’ Assistant, 23rd Aug-1st Sept 2009
Tasks: Organising staff, distributing job roles, set up of exhibitions, time keeping and organisation of speakers and sound tech.
Catalyst Arts, Director, October 2007 – 2009
Tasks: Overall running of the gallery, curating exhibitions and supporting visiting artists. Duties include administration, funding applications and coordinating volunteers.
International Symposium for Electronic Arts, Assistant to the Executive Producer, 10th-14th Nov 2008
Tasks: distributing information, publicity and invigilating events.