Maddie Leach

Senior Lecturer

The Crafts and Fine Art Unit
Visiting address
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
41137 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 131
40530 Göteborg

About Maddie Leach

Fountains Failures Futures: The afterlives of public art – a free symposium in Lund, 28 & 29 September 2023.

Teaching focus: MFA Fine Arts programme; VCU01 Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art.

Keywords: artistic practice/research; conceptual practices; publicness; place/site; narrative and writing within artistic practices.

Pronouns: she/they

Maddie Leach is an artist from New Zealand of Ashkenazi, English, and Scottish descent. She holds a PhD from the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Before coming to Gothenburg in 2016, Maddie was a founding staff member, and programme director for the MFA Fine Arts, at Whiti o Rehua / The School of Art at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Maddie's sculptural projects include building an ice rink in a public gallery (2002) and a 16-foot sailboat for the roof of New Zealand’s national museum (2006). She has shipped a Eucalyptus tree across the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Chile, and back again (2006–07); sent 325 litres of water from the Te Waihou ‘Blue Spring' to Jakarta, where it vanished (2015); and coaxed a community of writers, businessmen, council officials and a newspaper editor to imagine a 'whale' made from 70 litres of used mineral oil and one-tonne of cement (2012–14). In 2017 she produced The Grief Prophesy album, working with two Swedish musicians and visual artist Necrolord to reinterpret an unremarkable black metal track into a powerful lament.

Maddie's work is recognised for its conceptual agility as elements of uncertainty and risk emerge in her process, and for the varied material resolution of her artworks – having fabricated objects or had them fabricated for her, used text and print media, worked with video, performative actions and processes of exchange.

She has worked with international curators Charles Esche, Claire Doherty, Hou Hanru, Nav Haq and Mercedes Vicente; Australian-based curators Blair French, Zara Stanhope and David Cross; and with New Zealand curators Christina Barton, Natasha Conland, Charlotte Huddleston, Abby Cunnane and Bruce Phillips. Maddie has been an artist in residence with Serlachius Museums (2019, Mänttä, Finland); CAG Field House Programme (2015, 2016, 2018, Vancouver, Canada); National Sculpture Factory (2008, Cork, Ireland); International Art Space (2014, Western Australia); Spike Island (2014, Bristol, UK) and Hyde Park Art Center (2008, 2010, Chicago, USA).

In September 2020, she received a four-year research grant from Formas (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development) towards the project The fountain: An art-technological-social-drama.