“Two new directions began to develop as I was winding down a portrait series in 2010. One involved daily drawing and painting on used paper coffee cups. Stalled in the studio, I initially experienced this habit as procrastination–until I began embracing it as a highly generative art form. Having amassed many hundreds of these upcycled cup artworks, I hang them as large-scale, permutable installations, shown in public art spaces and shop windows as well as in traditional galleries. An important component of the installations is often my own presence– I make the cup artworks in a portable studio, thus combining drawing and performance in ways that allow dialogue with the public and create a social and conversational art-making environment that is a counter-balance to the extended time I spend alone in the studio. When I did finally sit down to paint, it was an act of pure observation, engaging with the urban panorama seen from my studio window on the 13th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan.
[Image: Gwyneth Leech, Westin on 42nd: March Morning, 2015, oil on wood panel, 8 x 8 inches.]
“I painted the same sections of the view over and over, recording the light as it shifted hourly and threw up tantalizing reflections of building within buildings. Knowing that the view will be lost within the next 18 months because a 40-story tower is under construction directly behind my studio adds urgency to this painting project. In both of these series, I focus on the process rather than on an underlying concept and that has opened a floodgate of imagery resulting in two distinct bodies of work: ‘Reflected City’ and the ‘Cup Drawings and Installations.’ “
University of Pennsylvania and Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. She
has had solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Philadelphia
and New York City and lives in Hell’s Kitchen with her husband, David Wilson, and two daughters, Megan and
“Gwyneth Leech: Themes and Variations – Paintings and Works on Paper 2004-2015,” ARTWorks Gallery on the Green, Norwalk, CT. Through May 26, 2015.
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