Virginia Leonard

Artist Statement

The visceral materiality of clay is an emotive assemblage that represents the chronic pain in my body. These objects are my body - it is pain I make. The objectlessness of chronic pain is processed and overcome through abstraction it represents the voicelessness.

The stacking of work allows the work to grow physically it also suggests the ability to hide my bodily scarring while referencing my cracked and crooked body.

-- Virginia Leonard


Virginia Leonard (b.1965 Auckland, New Zealand) graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design in 2001. Virginia’s focus is working with clay and her work is a response to the broken parts of her body.

Winner of the Molly Morpeth Canady Art Award, Whakatane (2012) and winner of the Walker and Hall Waiheke Art Award, Waiheke Art Gallery, Waiheke (2011). 

Her recent exhibitions include Installation Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary (2017); Village huha, PAULNACHE, Gisborne (2017); HANDBUILT made in clay, Two Rooms, Auckland (2016); The Effects of Crack, Objectspace, Auckland (2014). Virginia was invited artist in Residence, Guldagergaard, Denmark (2017) and won the Merit Award, Portage Ceramic Awards, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland (2015).

She currently lives and works from Matakana, New Zealand.