One Day Sculpture  
             
     
 
 
 

Maddie Leach

(b. Auckland, New Zealand, 1970; lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand)
COMMISSIONED BY Litmus Research Initiative
     

     

Maddie Leach, Perigee # 11, Wellington, 28 August 2008. Commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative, Massey University for
One Day Sculpture. Photos: Stephen Rowe
(click to enlarge)


Perigee #11

Thursday 28 August 2008, midnight-midnight

Boatshed 805, Opposite 171 Breaker Bay Road,

Breaker Bay, Wellington  (Bus Route #30 or #11)


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   critical response
 

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   Event

Maddie Leach, research/promotional image for Perigee # 11,
2008. With thanks to Warren Olds.

On 28th August 2008, a storm was predicted over the city of Wellington. Using a long-range weather forecasting system developed by mathematician Ken Ring, Maddie Leach pinpointed a winter’s day in which downpours, hail, wind and rain were expected to descend upon the North Island’s most southerly city. A perigee is the moment at which the moon is at its closest to the earth each month and, according to Ring, it is around this time that significant changes in weather patterns occur. 


Anticipation for the storm was built by the artist through a series of newspaper forecasts which appeared prior to the notable day of the project. On the day itself we were encouraged to seek out a boatshed at Breaker Bay, set at the mouth of the harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, from which to watch in anticipation over the Cook Strait over a period of 24 hours.


Leach’s work has always been concerned with potentiality and it is in that gap between actuality and potentiality, in the waiting for something to happen, that Leach encourages us to think back and forth between what we imagine is going to happen and what we are experiencing physically. What does it feel like to seek out the boatshed at 3am awaiting a storm? Or do you battle against the winds with a group of friends at sundown? When you look out across the sea from the shed, do you solemnly recall the 1968 Wahine Disaster or does the conversation turn to the mundanity of daily drizzle? Or do you spend the afternoon in the sunshine wondering what it must feel like to be hauled up in a shed awaiting a storm?


Adapted as part-viewing platform, part-shelter, the shed is the most obviously sculptural aspect of the project, occurring as a temporary public sculpture on Wellington’s coastal road, but of course it is only one aspect of this project. Perigee #11 occurs as rumour, as text, as topic of conversation, as quest, and as a site of sociability in public space, always slightly out of our grasp, occurring always in the future and then in the past.


BIOGRAPHY



[LEFT] Maddie Leach, One Shining Gum (Savia Brillante), Museo de arte contemporaneo, Santiago de Chile, 2006; Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, 2007
[RIGHT] Maddie Leach, My Blue Peninsula, Museum of New Zealand / Te Papa Tongarewa, 2006. Photo: courtesy the artist.


The installation and site-specific practice of Wellington-based artist Maddie Leach proposes complex questions about the shifting roles of the public art gallery and the artist within the broader leisure and culture industries. In examining the spaces and social structures of recreational and cultural pursuits, Leach references conceptual and post-minimal sculpture, together with notions of sociality, community and exchange. Variously combining objects, images, sound and video projections, her installations merge aspects of the performative and the contemplative testing and exploring ideas of audience spectatorship and participation. The Ice Rink And The Lilac Ship (2002, 2004) is a case in point. Comprising an 18-metre long, fully-functioning ice rink, accompanied by a video projection of a cruise ship drifting out of Wellington harbour on a calm evening, this sculptural installation creates a hybrid art experience which radically shifts the behavioural tropes conventionally operating in gallery space. In My Blue Peninsula (2006) a 4.9m plywood sailing boat, fabricated by the artist, was installed high and dry above the harbour on Te Papa's outer sculpture court.


Further solo projects include Andalucia, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts (2007) and Take Me Down To Your Dance Floor, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2004). Selected group exhibitions include Linked: connectivity and exchange, Govett Brewster Art Gallery (2005-06), High Tide: new currents in art from Australia and New Zealand, Warsaw & Lithuania (2006) and Trans Versa, The South Project, Santiago (2006). In March and April 2008 she undertook an International Artist Residency at The National Sculpture Factory, Cork City, Ireland.


Leach was born in Auckland in 1970. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch and has lived and worked in Wellington since 1995.

 
 
 

LIZ ALLAN

 

LARA ALMARCEGUI

 

BILLY APPLE

 

NICK AUSTIN

 

DOUGLAS BAGNALL

 

BIK VAN DER POL

 

BEKAH CARRAN

 

KAH BEE CHOW

 

THOMAS HIRSCHHORN

 

AMY HOWDEN-CHAPMAN

 

ADAM HYDE

 

MADDIE LEACH

 

JAMES LUNA

 

HEATHER AND IVAN MORISON

 

KATE NEWBY

 

ROMAN ONDÁK

 

MICHAEL PAREKOWHAI

 

PAOLA PIVI

 

SANTIAGO SIERRA

 

SUPERFLEX

 

JAVIER TELLEZ

 

RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA

 

ZOË WALKER AND NEIL BROMWICH

 

BEDWYR WILLIAMS