Early Telepaths

Saskia Leek

9 February 2019 - 26 May 2019

Early Telepaths presents a new suite of paintings by Saskia Leek. The works in this exhibition represent the continuation of an extended period of research by the artist, who in 2016 completed her MFA at Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland. Moving between and blending together elements drawn from representational and abstract art, Leek’s works are concerned with the qualities and processes of painting. Colour, composition, saturation, brushstroke, subject-matter, light and framing devices are constantly and consistently being negotiated and defined.

Leek’s process of making is instinctual; one of reworking, elimination and experimentation. Cumulatively, the series provides the space for comparison – allowing the viewer to identify and explore the subtleties within each work. The sense of progression from one work to the next highlights Leek’s use and treatment of repeated forms (trees, grapes, bananas, circles) and colours, variations in tone (from fluorescent to muted) and shifts in saturation (from the opaque to the transparent). These nuances are important, they speak to a process of interrogation – of testing, revisiting and exploring what it means to make a painting.

The notion of telepathy, reflected in the exhibition title, speaks to a type of communication. Whether verbal, non-verbal or written, communication involves the exchanging of information. Leek’s small-scale paintings demand attention. They ask audiences to take a moment to stop and look; to consider their layered surfaces and how those elements sit together. It is through a range of different approaches, that have shifted and evolved throughout her career, that Leek offers a nuanced view into the history of painting and its agency in the current moment.

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