June to July, 2015
Taking up residency earlier this year in June, Maddie Leach began research towards a Vancouver-based project. Leach’s practice is one that seeks ways of making artworks as a means to interpret and respond to specific context, through a lengthy process of enquiry and social interaction establishing relationships between form, materials, locations, histories, events, individuals and communities.
Leach was nominated for the Walters Prize 2014 for If you find the good oil let us know (2012–2014), created during a two year residency at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, a town known for its oil and gas exploration on New Zealand’s North Island. The project centered on 70 litres of supposed ‘whale oil’. With layered and complex associations to whaling from indigenous sustenance to colonial/capitalist industry, whale oil speaks to New Zealand’s past and evokes its new economic boom in crude oil exploration. Leach sought to return this mythic substance to the sea, beginning a tangential journey that ended with a cube of cement made from the firing of 70 litres of mineral oil relocated to the seabed several kilometres off the coast. Through such ephemeral aesthetic actions and an unfolding public dialogue, this search for the authenticity of the ‘whale oil’ connected fragmented industrial and cultural narratives central to the context of New Zealand. Sharing her unfolding research, Leach then invited fourteen individuals to offer written letters as responses to the work, the only stipulation being to begin the letter with ‘Dear.’ The texts became a series of ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the Taranaki Daily News developing a curious narrative composed by multiple authors, from scientists to sailors, cement workers to oil-industry executives.
Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Maddie Leach speaking at the ‘spaced symposium’ Perth, WA, Australia.
Reflecting on the spaced 2: future recall projects, the spaced symposium presented a day of discussions addressing the relationship between museums, contemporary art and communities.MORE
Maddie Leach | Mandurah – courtesy of spaced 2: future recall
spaced 2: future recall, the second edition of the spaced program, presented newly commissioned artworks by fourteen contemporary Australian and international artists who lived and worked for extended periods in Western Australian rural and remote communities throughout 2013-14, developing works based on an engagement with local residents, histories and landscapes.
Thank you to spaced 2, Perth, WA, Australia for sharing the video.
See more about ‘spaced 2’ here: spaced.org.au/exhibitions/
My name is Mackenzie Reid Rostad. I’m excited to be joining the team at CAG as this summers Learning Assistant, made possible through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Young Canada Works program. I will learn and, occasionally, I may also assist. Primarily I will aid in hosting CAG artists in residence such as Maddie Leach and Diane Borsato, including young CAG artists through the summer intensives.
Outside CAG, I study at Simon Fraser University, currently pursuing a BFA with a major in film. Within film, my core interests are in writing, scoring and photographing projects. Most recently I completed a short road trip film ‘Without End’. Throughout the summer I will be preparing for my grad project in which I aim to explore the creative process. My involvement with CAG has given me the unique opportunity to gain insight into artists, working in various mediums, and their processes.
I look forward to my time as Learning Assistant supplementing my work both in collaboration and independent of CAG.
Hello! My name is Shalon Webber-Heffernan, and this Summer I am super excited to be working and learning at the CAG!
I’m very happy to be working alongside CAG Curator Shaun Dacey in the role of Summer Learning Assistant, and I look forward to getting to know all the staff and volunteers at the gallery. I’m equally excited to be working with some of this Summer’s amazing Burrard Marina Field House Studio residency artists, including Maddie Leach, Keg de Souza, Walter Scott, Sameer Farooq, Harrell Fletcher and Marie Lorenz. Aside from the CAG, I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University where I focus on embodied and affective knowledge, performance studies, and the so-called “pedagogical turn” in contemporary art practices.
My background is in performance, dance and theatre paired with years of experience working within community outreach settings has me thinking deeply about genuinely engaged arts praxis—what that means, and what are the implications—as well as experiential and alternate (un)learning processes and methodologies.
At the summer’s end I am lucky also to be working with international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra, where I will deepen my studies of radical performance pedagogy during an immersive training program in Tijuana, Mexico.
I look forward to seeing you around the CAG this summer!