Born to Jamaican parents, Leigh combines the handmade with found objects to explore feminism and African art, and the stereotypical references assigned to objects. Early in her career, Leigh began using ancient African pottery techniques to make ceramic works based on the traditional forms of Nigerian water pots. In Stack II, part of the KMAC collection, she returns to the form by gilding one of her pots and placing it atop a carved wooden pole fabricated with wood from Kentucky by Tony Pinotti, a Kentucky native. The combination of the gold leaf and expert woodcarving gives the female figure a regal, heroic and queen like quality. Leigh’s work is a crucial part of the current conversation surrounding traditional craft media radicalizing and pushing the boundaries of contemporary and conceptual art in relation to personal and cultural history.
Related artists in KMAC's collection:
Crop Rotation, Permanent Collection: Recent Acquisitions
McMillan, Uri. Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance. New York: New York University Press, 2015.
Ceramic, wood, gold leaf, and steel. Gift of Julie and William C. Ballard.