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Acclaimed Ōtautahi abstract artist  Kate McLeod to exhibit at Rei Gallery

Visual Arts

Rei Art Gallery in Lyttelton is excited to host a solo show by Ōtautahi abstract artist Kate McLeod from October 14th to November 4th, 2023.

Capture and Release will be the first solo show hosted at Rei Gallery since its opening in March 2023

Kaiwhakairo at the Whakaraupō Carving Centre Damian Mackie explains: “We’re excited to host the very first solo show at Rei. Kate is a founding member of the collective and we’re drawn to her work because of its depth and breadth, and its strong connection to nature.”

Mackie continues: “Kate was a natural choice not only because we want to empower the wāhine toa of  Ōtautahi, but also celebrate the positive relationship between Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti. Kate has studied under our kura, and is currently studying level 3 & 4 Te Reo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. We hope this will be the first of many shows celebrating both Māori and pākehā artists.”

About Kate McLeod

Kate McLeod is a full-time mixed media artist based in Ilam, Ōtautahi. McLeod’s current art practice consists of gestural mixed media painting encased in hand made oak frames. Her paintings are energetic and performative. You can see the marks left behind in all their tactility. In her abstract works the paint is applied in lyrical swathes that push and pull across the surface. Her work sits within the canon of abstraction; gestural, lyrical, action painting and colour field, they all came before but do not define the future direction.

The power of nature is a recurring theme in Kate’s work. The waxing and waning of the moon. The ebb and flow of the ocean. The writhing sea meeting the sky. The unfurling of a spring leaf. She reflects on how nature connects us all. With so much division in the world, Kate seeks to find the communal thread that weaves humanity together.

About Capture and Release

McLeod explains: “Each year I choose a one-word intention. This year’s word is ‘release’. Release represents several things: releasing those things that no longer serve me; releasing my creations into the care of others; releasing predisposed assumptions; releasing the viscous paint across the surface of the canvas; releasing the breath caught deep in my chest.”

“This habit of setting a one-word intention started a few years back when I became disillusioned with setting the same long list of New Year’s resolutions each year (and not achieving them). So now I set a one-word intention, to simplify and focus on what I want to improve. Release was a response to a feeling of blockage I had. Painting is the way through for me. Because on the other side of the struggle there is flow. Some days it comes fast. Some slow. Some not at all. Flow is elusive but the more I train the more I find it”.

“My painting practice grounds me in the physical, grounds me in nature. Setting an intention for each artwork is an important part of my process. It’s the process that keeps me coming back for more. The process of putting energy to canvas and creating a new reality that didn’t exist before. Energy captured as a tangible moment in time.”

“I make a mark, then wait for its response. Painting is a two-way conversation. It’s like a giant puzzle that needs to be solved. The challenge of solving the puzzle keeps me coming back for more. Capture then release. Capture then release.”

About the Show

Capture and Release will run from October 14th – November 4th, 2023, at Rei Art Gallery, 10b Norwich Quay, Lyttelton. Rei Gallery is on Robert Forbes Lane, next door to Hope River Pies.

McLeod will be in residence at Rei Gallery each day for conversation and will also be creating an artwork that develops throughout the show. (Except 25 Oct, 29 Oct, 2 Nov).

Opening hours are Weds – Sun 11am-2pm. Entry is free. All welcome.

About Rei Gallery

Rei is a Māori owned and operated gallery under local mana whenua Kāti Wheke, located in the  Whakaraupō bay. Within Rei is a collective of artists who are committed to pushing boundaries, generating conversation, and creating new possibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. As carvers,

sculptors, painters, and weavers, our aims are to support emerging, mid-career, and established artists in Ōtautahi.

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