Randal Leach is an accomplished visual artist, highly regarded for his ability to record historical narratives through contemporary mediums and transform them into powerful artistic statements.
Of Ngati Porou descent, Leach’s work embraces a Maori narrative, while exploring ideas that place these concepts into a modern-day context. He has a very rare skill in translating these indigenous narratives and issues into powerful images that strongly reflect contemporary New Zealand art thinking.
Randal has been actively involved in the development of contemporary Maori Visual Arts since he graduated from the prestigious Māori visual arts school, Toihoukura in 1995. Leach was awarded his Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts in 2011 from the Eastern Institute of Technology, his Bachelor in Maori Performing Arts in 2013 from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and his Masters in Creative Visual Arts Practice in 2018 from the Eastern Institute of Technology. Over the years he has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.
As an artist he utilises a lot of line work, he is a lover of line. Lines hold for him many deeply rooted conceptual and historical associations. The lines in his paintings combine all of his influences, experiences, and interests to describe a sense of perfection.
“Lines tell a story, a narrative, they celebrate the ripples of my life”
Te Ara i Whiti
Randal is one of our seven exhibiting artists for Te Ara i Whiti 2022.
Randal is exhibiting his work RUA I TE PŪKENGA – The Rua of Excellence / Expertise at Te Ara i Whiti. Describing his mahi toi, Randal says:
“My ideas continue to explore the importance of learning the cultural teachings of our tipuna and contextualizing them to our current environment. I have always wondered about this notion of excellence or more importantly the quest for excellence.
The action or process of improving something until it is faultless, until it is flawless, to become an expert. Of course, excellence or expertise is hard to find.
Inspired by a narrative of my tipuna Paikea Ariki and the takarangi reflection of the milky way in the eyes of his koka, the concentric circle or the ripple effect is a metaphor for the process of improving, learning or developing in someone’s quest towards excellence, the idea that every action creates a reaction, a consequence, a pathway, an option. Its aim is to highlight the need for guidance and leadership, as we navigate our way through the world, like our tipuna utilised the stars to discover the Aotearoa we live in today.”
You can see RUA I TE PŪKENGA – The Rua of Excellence / Expertise at Te Ara i Whiti from July 9-17 2022.