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