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Leon Patchett

Born. 08/03/66. Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. England.

Leon Patchett is a graduate of Central / St Martins College of Art & Design where he completed a B.A.Hons Degree in Ceramics in 1990.  He has been a practicing artist for the past decade and now works out of The Stables Studios in Cromarty, a small peninsular town north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland.  This beautiful and dramatic region of Scotland has inspired a new direction in his work.  A simple walk on the beach presented a readily available free material to begin a new approach in the new studio.

Collecting

Collecting wood from coastal and inland beaches is a regular activity.  Winter storms present the best time to build up larger stocks of wood as the strong winds drive all sorts of material to specific locations.  Despite its seemingly random nature there was so much wood that it was possible to categorise bundles of type reflecting diameter, curve, texture, length and colour.  Wood is continually being assessed during the collection process in the hope that new material will be useful for ongoing work and also inspire ideas for new projects. 

‘It’s a process of assessing what wood is available at the time and what can be made from it rather than finding pieces to fit an specific idea.’ 

‘The process and finished work is directly related to the environment.  Wood that I find in the landscape is the starting point that gives the parameters to inspire ideas.  Over the last decade this process has developed to a point where almost all wood has some value.’

Ideas

‘The first instinct was to use these random bits of wood to make wall hangings based around the breastplate designs of Native Americans.’  From this I began to clean and refine the wood to make a more unified, contemporary piece of work.’(Wall Hanging Series ie. Driftwood III) 

‘It is no coincidence that ideas became more involved as I became more confident in using the material.’ 

‘Moving the work into 3 dimensions (Heart) was a natural step which brought the necessity to expand my technical skills to splice larger sections together to make frames that could then be added to.’

‘The ideas are basically abstract with no particular narrative leaving the viewer to make their own interpretation of what story the work inspires.' 

Residencies

The process has translated well to the residency opportunities.  The challenge of a new environment keeps the approach fresh and helps to inspire new ideas.

‘Residencies have highlighted how valuable the time spent developing the work in the studio has been. I work at developing a visual language that I can refer to in different environments.’

‘I felt I needed to work more instinctively throughout the process.  The obvious thing to do was to speed up the process and the residencies have become ideal vehicle to experiment with this.  Limited time, limited tools and no idea of what wood I might find makes it essential to try and maintain a very open attitude to what can be achieved.’

‘The permanent studio in Cromarty is excellent for developing ideas and taking on more time consuming complex projects.  The residencies take me out of that comfort zone where you have to adapt to the challenge of being on unfamiliar ground.’  

‘This is an intense experience as everything is condensed and simplified. It has highlighted how changing basic elements; time, tools, place can alter the outcomes and add to my experience of making.’ 

‘Residencies have expanded the process.  The unfimiliar location and a limited amount of time makes it essential to look for shortcuts in order to start making as soon as possible.  So it is common sense to talk to the locals for advice on where I can find materials or tools.  Changing a usually solitary activity into a more social one.  It’s a great way to meet people and become familiar with the new environment. ’

‘I hope the work I make during the residencies reflects something of the local area but essentially I’m trying to make a coherent piece of work with the material I find.’

‘These have been very special experiences and in the process learned a huge amount about my work and myself.  I’ve been very fortunate to meet such open and generous people whose friendship will always be remembered.’

Education

Manchester Metropolitan University – Post Graduate Certificate of Eduacation.  (Manchester 1993 – 1994)  Central/St.Martins School of Art & Design – B.A. Hons Ceramics.  (London 1986 – 1990)

Exhibitions

Stables Studios Gallery. Cromarty Group. Aug 2012

El Corte Ingles Exhibition. Santander, Spain. Oct 2011

Stables Gallery. The Cromarty Group. Cromarty Aug 2011

Simposio Internacional De Artists En Noja. Noja, Spain. June 2011

Earthworks Environmental Exhibition. Projekte Gallery, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Jan 2010

Snowdrop Festival Exhibition. Cambo Estate, St.Andrews. Fife. Scotland. Feb 2011

No Boundaries International Artists Colony Exhibition. Acme Studios. N. C. USA. Dec 2010

Stables Gallery. The Cromarty Group. Aug. 2010

No Boundaries Artists Colony Exhibition. Acme Studios. Wilmington N. C. Jan 2010

No Boundaries Artists Colony Exhibition. Shoals Club, Bald Head Island. Nov 2009

Stables Gallery. The Cromarty Group. 2009

Stables Gallery. The Cromarty Group. 2008

Art-Point Gumno. (Sloeshtica, Macedonia) 2008

Double Vision. Highland 2007 (Queen Mary Vaults, Bank St, Inverness) Aug 2007

The Art of Being. Highland 2007 (Highland, Midmills Campus, Inverness) July 2007

Coast.(Rhyl Museum & Arts Centre. Denbighshire County Council.Wales) June 2007

Wood. Stroud House Gallery. (Stroud, England) Oct- Nov 2006.

Highland Open (Touring Exhibition, Highlands, Scotland) March-Oct 2006.

The Old Brewery. (Cromarty, Permanent Exhibition) 2005.

Stables Studio Exhibition. Recent Works. (Stables Studios, Cromarty) 2005.

Bridge View Gallery. (Aberdeen, Scotland) 2004.

The Pentagon Centre. (Glasgow, Scotland) 2004.

Residencies

Simposio Internacional De Artists En Noja.  Noja, Spain. (June 2011.) (Coordinator Manuel Saenz-Messia.)

No Boundaries International Artists Colony.  Acme Studios, N. C. USA. (Nov 2010). www.nbiac.org

Butterfly Workshop.  Aaland/Mietoinen/Saari, Kone Foundation Finland. www.koneensaatio.fi (Aug 2010)

No Boundaries.  Bald Head Island, North Carolina, USA. www.nbiac.org. (Nov 2009)

Art Point-Gumno.  Sergej Andreevski, Village Sloeshtica, Demir Hisar, Republic of Macedonia artpoint@mt.net.mk (May 2008)

Awards

Kone Foundation Bursary.  Butterfly Workshop, Aaland/Mietoinen, Finland 2010.

Travel Bursary.  Cromarty Arts Trust, Cromarty, Scotland, 2010.

Hi-Arts Visual Artist Awards.  No Boundaries Residency, North Carolina, USA 2009.

Cromarty Arts Trust Award.  ‘Chairman’s Choice’, Cromarty Group Exhibition 2009.

Hi-Arts Visual Artist Awards.  Art-Point Gumno Residency, Macedonia 2008.

contact:leon@leonpatchett.com Site Design: johnslorach@yahoo.co.uk