A My practice stems from a broad fascination with the world around me. Realised through: drawing; archives; digital imagery; interactive social practice; story; moving image; and installation. My work has an informal archival feel of association that contains moments of the unexpected. These allow the viewer to create their own narratives as they are brought through unusual rumors, local lore, historic or accurate happenings to moments of collective consciousness.
The viewer is presented with an amalgam of installations, minimalist drawing and make-shift collections. Stemming from a lifelong obsession with collecting, the subject matter combines influences from travel, social interactions, history, iconography, myths, legends and museum categorization. These are presented in humourous ways that entice the viewer to decipher connections and explore the multiple narratives set before them.
I see my art practice as an adventure.Â Iâm an explorer presenting my discoveries. I select and create imagery that draws in the viewer through the familiar and the commonplace.
âShe seems to have a knack for finding the bizarre and unique, sometimes under your very nose, in locations you pass by every day. There are moments when her work can make one feel, as Walker Percy would say, âsunk into our own everydayness.â This exchange is perhaps what is most compelling about Leechâs practice; it challenges the unexamined inheritances of our day-to day affairs.â Â David Hawkins for Cville newspaper, USA, 2013.
Johanna Leech (b.1985, Belfast, Northern Ireland), graduated from the University of Ulster in 2007, with a BA Hons in Fine and Applied Art.
Leech uses her collections of stories and objects â¨to create drawings, photographs and installations. She acts as an explorer presenting her discoveries, selecting and creating imagery that draws in the viewer through the familiar and the commonplace. Her subject matter combines influences from travel, social interactions, history, iconography, myths and legends.
In addition to her own practice, Leech often works collaboratively with artists such as SinĂŠad Bhreathnach-Cashell (UK) and Matthew Slaats (USA).
Artist residencies include: Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku, Lapua, Finland; The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, SĂM (Iceland); Tyrone Guthrie (Ireland); Digital Arts Studios (Northern Ireland). Three residencies in USA - The Bridge PAI (VA) , CHRCH Project Space (NY) and ARCH Development (WDC).
She has exhibited in Australia, Finland, USA, Iceland, UK and Ireland. Recent exhibitions include:
True/False/Fake/Realâ, Espacio Gallery, London, UK, 2018
âDouble Visionâ, Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku, Lapua, Finland, 2016
âEdenâs Blueprintâ, Peroia City Gallery, Arizona, USA, 2016
Vanishings Futures: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Artâ, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2015
âBasic Operationâ, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, 2015