Walters Prize Finalist: Maddie Leach

If you find the good oil let us know‘  25 June, 2012 – 14 February, 2014, is a conceptual artwork created by artist Maddie Leach whilst she was undertaking the Taranaki Artist in Residence Programme in association with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, in New Plymouth, and curated by Mercedes Vicente.

Facade of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 02 February 2013 - 24 January 2014.
Facade of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 02 February 2013 – 24 January 2014.

The work follows the artist’s 2 year odyssey from the discovery of a barrel of reputed whale oil at Massey University in Wellington, through various transformations, to it’s eventual deposit on the sea bed 12 miles off the coast of Taranaki.  Along the way it encompasses a public dialogue regarding the project undertaken through letters to the local newspaper, and culminates with the publishing of a book which chronicles the process.

If you find the good oil let us know, designed by Warren Olds, alongside its influencer.
If you find the good oil let us know, designed by Warren Olds, alongside its influencer.

Twelve out of a series of fourteen letters, and an Editorial, were printed in the Taranaki Daily News in the early months of 2013:

Taranaki Daily News, 18 January 2013.
Taranaki Daily News, 18 January 2013.

Details and links to those letters are  available through Maddie’s Website    http://www.maddieleach.net/projects/if-you-find-the-good-oil-let-us-know/

In the radio interview below Maddie describes in detail her thoughts   and influences, as well as some of the extraordinary processes she went through in the realisation of the work.

Radio NZ Interview with Lynn Freeman

Due to the conceptual nature of the original work, Maddie Leach will need to somehow re-present the piece for exhibition in the Walters Prize exhibition. We await this with great interest.

Thurline Transport, Petone. 28 November 2012.
Thurline Transport, Petone. 28 November 2012.

 

Westport Works cement plant (Holcim NZ Ltd). 30 October 2012.
Westport Works cement plant (Holcim NZ Ltd). 30 October 2012.

 

Howard's Precast Concrete, New Plymouth. 25 June 2013. (1.3m x 1.0m x 0.7m, 2.4 tonne)
Howard’s Precast Concrete, New Plymouth. 25 June 2013. (1.3m x 1.0m x 0.7m, 2.4 tonne)

 

39deg 16’ 36”S, 173deg 29’ 42” E. 16 January 2014. Image: Shaun Waugh
39deg 16’ 36”S, 173deg 29’ 42” E. 16 January 2014. Image: Shaun Waugh

 

Charlotte Swasbrook

 

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