Title: Sedna Transforms
Size: 17cm (h) x 13 (w) x 20 (l) Approximate
Medium: Paper Clay & Coloured Slips, fired to 1280 degrees centigrade
The Inuit legend describes a young woman who married a young man who turned out to be a bird in disguise. When the girl’s father discovered this and that his daughter was very miserable being married to a bird, he killed the birdman in a fury.
Many birds tried to pull over the Kayak of the father and daughter as they tried to leave the birdman's island. A supernatural storm appeared, causing the father to push his daughter out of the kayak to try and save himself. She then got her fingers lopped off (by her father) as she tried to cling to the boat. It is said that her fingers became sea creatures and she herself became half fish, like a mermaid.
This figure is about Sedna at the point just before she loses her fingers and gains a tail – she is being transformed from a human into a goddess. It’s about transcending unhappiness.
About the Artist
Graduated with Honours in Film and Theatre (M.A.) at Glasgow University in 1991. Continued at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art to specialise in stop motion animation, obtaining a diploma in Electronic Imaging.
Discovering later that ceramics was her preferred medium, she took a postgraduate ceramic course at DJCA followed by two summers' apprenticeship with Lotte Glob, in Durness. She has now been working with clay for over twenty years. From making ceramic jewellery in Mexico, hand thrown pottery in Spain to more abstract work in Scotland.
She now makes vessels and figures decorated with coloured slips, melted glass, circular markings and sometimes photographic images. The colours in her glaze decoration are informed by an abstract interpretation of the landscape. She begins by painting the landscape with acrylics on canvas which then inspire the glazing.
Goddesses often feature in her work as she plays with the idea that they too are responding to our political climate.
Her work combines abstract design with messages about the world we live in.
She has exhibited in Spain, Mexico and Scotland including;
The Sproson Gallery, St Andrews,
VAS 'Open' and ‘Fly’ at RSA; Edinburgh,
The Sutton Gallery; Edinburgh,
Glasgow Art Village,
Dunfermline’s Fire Station Creative,
St Andrews Botanic Gardens,
The Torrence Gallery; Edinburgh,
The Luti Gallery in Callander,
East Neuk Open Studios,
and The Fisher Gallery in Pittenweem.
Leonie has exhibited in the Pittenweem Art Festival for six years and demonstrated for Meet your Maker for Craft Scotland.
Last year she was commissioned to make two Baptism Fonts for St Salvators and St Leonards Chapel in St Andrews, Scotland.
Most recently she won St Andrew’s University Booker Prize competition with a sculptural response to Hisham Matar’s novel, ‘In the Country of Men’.