About

1970 // New Zealand

MFA: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 1999–2000
BFA (Hons) Sculpture: University of Canterbury, 1989–1993

Maddie Leach is an artist from New Zealand, currently based in Sweden. Her sculptural projects include building an ice rink in a public gallery (2002) and a 16-foot sailboat for the roof of New Zealand’s national museum (2006). She has shipped a Eucalyptus tree across the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Chile, and back again (2006–07); sent 325 litres of water from the Te Waihou ‘Blue Spring' to Jakarta, where it vanished (2015); and coaxed a community of writers, businessmen, council officials and a newspaper editor to imagine a ‘whale' made from 70 litres of used mineral oil and one-tonne of cement (2012–14). In 2017 she produced The Grief Prophesy album, working with two Swedish musicians and visual artist ’Necrolord’ to reinterpret an unremarkable black metal track into a powerful lament.

Her work is recognised for its conceptual agility as elements of uncertainty and risk emerge in her process, and for the varied material resolution of her artworks – having fabricated objects or had them fabricated for her, used text and print media, worked with video, performative actions and processes of exchange.

Leach has worked with international curators Charles Esche, Claire Doherty, Hou Hanru, Nav Haq and Mercedes Vicente; Australian-based curators Blair French, Zara Stanhope and David Cross; and with New Zealand curators Christina Barton, Natasha Conland, Charlotte Huddleston, Abby Cunnane and Bruce Phillips. She has been an artist in residence with Serlachius Museums (2019, Mänttä, Finland); CAG Field House Programme (2015, 2016, 2018, Vancouver, Canada); National Sculpture Factory (2008, Cork, Ireland); International Art Space (2014, Western Australia); Spike Island (2014, Bristol, UK) and Hyde Park Art Center (2008, 2010, Chicago, USA).

Leach is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at HDK–Valand Academy of Art & Design at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. In September 2020, she received a four-year research grant from Formas (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development) towards the project The Fountain: An art-technological-social-drama.

  • Many of the artistic projects listed below are yet to be added to this site. Maddie Leach's former website can be accessed at archived.maddieleach.net


    List of artistic works, projects and residencies

2019

Lowering Simon Fraser. City of New Westminster, Vancouver, Canada. Commissioned by Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG).

Serlarchius Museums Artist in Residence, July 30 - August 31, Mänttä, Finland.

Project Anywhere: Art at the outermost limits of location-specificity. Centre of Visual Art (University of Melbourne) and Parsons Fine Art (Parsons School of Design, The New School).

2018

Projection Series #11: An Oceanic Feeling. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand. Curated by Erika Balsom.

Field House Artist in Residence, 12 - 31 August, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

2017

WheredoIendandyoubegin: On secularity. Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, Sweden. Curated by Nav Haq.

2016

Field House Artist in Residence, 22 June - 10 July, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

From where she was standing. ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.

28th October 2834. Alcoa Mandurah Art Gallery, Mandurah, Western Australia.

2015

Jakarta Biennale 2015 - Maju Kena, Mundur Kena: Bertindak Sekarang. Jakarta, Indonesia. Curated by Charles Esche, Anwar 'Jimpe' Rachman, Asep Topan, Benny Wicaksono, Irma Chantily, Putra Hidayatullah, Riksa Afiaty.

Field House Artist in Residence, 06 June - July 15, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

spaced 2: future recall. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
Curated by Marco Marcon and Hannah Matthews.

2014

The Walters Prize 2014. Auckland Art Gallery. Nominated for If you find the good oil let us know
(2012-2014)

Spike Island Artist in Residence, June 30 - August 17, Bristol, UK.

Artist in Residence (Mandurah, Western Australia), 26 February - 26 April, supported by International Art Space, Perth, Australia.

If you find the good oil let us know, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Curated by Mercedes Vicente.

2013

Scape 7 Public Art Biennial, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Curated by Blair French.

If you were to live here..., The 5th Auckland Triennial, Auckland, New Zealand.
Curated by Hou Hanru.

2012

Between Memory and Trace, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, New Zealand.
Curated by Bruce Phillips.

Peripheral Relations: Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. Curated by Marcus Moore.

Taranaki Artist in Residence, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.

The Obstinate Object, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Abby Cunnane and Aaron Lister.

2011

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, Cork City, Ireland.
An artist-initiated project supported by the National Sculpture Factory, Cork City Council
and Bord Gais.

Let us keep together in Iteration: Again, Tasmania, Australia.
Curated by David Cross. Commissioned by CAST.

Collecting Contemporary, Te Papa Tongarewa / Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Sarah Farrar, Megan Tamati-Quennelle & Heather Galbraith.

Reason and Rhyme, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia.
Curated by Emily Cormack, Charlotte Huddleston & Amita Kirpalani.

2010

Signs and Wonders Shall Appear in Close Encounters, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, USA.
Commissioned and curated by Bruce Phillips & Chuck Thurow.

It Happened That, St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
Curated by Charlotte Huddleston.

Loss of the Adventure, artist's pages in Liquid State, vol 4, Reading Room: A journal of art and culture. Published by Auckland Art Gallery. Commissioned by Natasha Conland, Christina Barton & Wystan Curnow.

2008

Perigee # 11 in One Day Sculpture, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Claire Doherty. Commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative.

Close Encounters research residency, Hyde Park Art Center, 15-19 May, Chicago, USA.

International Artist in Residence, National Sculpture Factory, 05 March - 30 April, Cork, Ireland.

2007

Andalucía, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commissioned by Cam McCracken.

Primary Products, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Christina Barton.

2006

My Blue Peninsula, Te Papa Tongarewa / Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commissioned by Natasha Conland.

Trans Versa in Crossing Horizons: Context + Community in the South, Santiago, Chile.
Curated by Danae Mossman & Zara Stanhope. Commissioned by The South Project.

High Tide: New currents in art from Australia and New Zealand, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland & Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania.
Curated by Simon Rees & Magda Kardasz.

World’s Edge: Ten Horizons, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Curated by Justin Paton.

2005

Linked: Connectivity and Exchange, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Curated by Charlotte Huddleston.

Breathing Space, The Physics Room Christchurch, New Zealand.
Curated by Danae Mossman.

Show 14: A Cord of Wood (or How to Light a Dark Corner), Show Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.

2004

Take Me Down to Your Dance Floor, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Commissioned by Justin Paton.

Telecom Prospect: New Art New Zealand, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Emma Bugden.

Vacation: Projection Series 7, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.

TAKE:001, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Louise Menzies.

Black Box: New Video, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia.

2002

Gallery Six: The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship, Waikato Museum of Art & History, Hamilton,
New Zealand. Commissioned by Waikato Museum of Art & History. Collection of Te Papa Tongarewa /Museum of New Zealand.

Ship and Storm, Rear Window, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Gallery Eight: The Back Room, Room 401, Auckland, New Zealand.

2001

Gallery Seven (10,000 metres), The Hirschfeld Gallery, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand.

Parallel Worlds, CCP, Melbourne, Australia & Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Curated by Catherine Day & Zara Stanhope.

2000

Sister Spaces, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, USA.
Curated by Emma Bugden.

Cover for LOG Illustrated: The New Age Issue, Number 10. Published by The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand.

1999

Gallery 5, The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Pariah Tables, Quail Island Recreation Reserve, Lyttelton Harbour, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Gallery 4, Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Commissioned by Athol McCredie.

At Home in the Oblique project, Otira Township, Westland, New Zealand.
Commissioned by The Physics Room, Christchurch.

1998

Box Seat, High Street Project, Christchurch, New Zealand.

1997

Rapid, Artspace, Auckland & Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand.
Curated by Sean Kerr.

Unearthly Stranger, The Honeymoon Suite, Dunedin, New Zealand.

1996

The Concrete Deal, James Smith Car Park, Wellington, New Zealand.
Wonderful Human Beings, The High Street Project, Christchurch, New Zealand.

1995

Pearly Kings, Robert McDougall Art Annex Christchurch, New Zealand.
Curated by Elizabeth Caldwell & Claire Regnault.

Cool World, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand.

Palomino Range with Jim Speers, Jensen Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.