Virginia Leonard (b. Auckland, New Zealand) is an established ceramic artist. In 1990 she obtained a Bachelor in Fine Arts, from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design, where she later completed a Masters in Fine Arts receiving a First Class Honours. Her work is recognised internationally, she has exhibited at reputable design fairs, as well as having received various awards, including the First Runner-up Wallace Art Awards, Auckland, New Zealand, in 2020 and the Winner- Main Prize, Officine Saffi Award 4, Milan, Italy in 2021.
Leonard’s ceramic practice is derived from a personal dialogue with her own reality. Her works are representations of her body, they are created as illustrations of the voicelessness of chronic pain and bodily scarring, which in return meets the daily need to articulate and divinise her visual language. The artist provokes connotations of repulsion, with the gritty forms and full of sharp ends of the pieces, whilst asserting that the expression of this harsh reality is something vital, enveloping and honest, which she translates into colour, creating vibrancy and beauty. Painful
Throughout her career in ceramics, Leonard holds that she feasts upon the process and change, enhancing the organic reality of her body, its fragility and its development in a world of flux. In her concept, she stresses that human physicality is not static or closed and that the classical ideal is sterile and impossible, as a result, the artist claims to be excited to understand that she inhabits a "body of becoming".
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