'Beyond the Shadows,' Leigh Schneider


Solo Exhibition with Quirky Fox Art Gallery, January 2023

Overview


'Beyond the Shadows,' is Leigh Schneider's debut solo exhibition.


This show seeks to ignite vision for transformation and growth—for a future beyond the shadows of current circumstance. It gathers together a selection of the artist's works on topics such as loss and isolation; inviting the viewer to look deeper into the symbolism of the images, which point at a way forwards.


Each work is accompanied by it's own story, which can be read alongside the artwork details below.


Artworks

Series: Messengers (Triptych)


This series visualises being in a dark place and the 'Messengers' we carry with us our personal patrons of the future. Always there, not always acknowledged. The three images work together to tell the full story.


'Through the Black' (image 2 below) shows a character in the darkness, presented with a choice - acknowledge her 'Messenger' and reach toward the light ('Rouse,' image 1), or stay in it ('Recluse,' image 3). The moth represents this 'Messenger' - being creatures that seek light and undergo transformation. They represent that one thought - perhaps of a loved one, an experience not yet had, or whatever it might be - that brings us back to life.


All three images share a story of hope, via the ever present 'Messenger.'

'Rouse,' 2020

Series: Messengers (Triptych)


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 8 + 1AP


There are moments in our darkest places, when we remember what we live for and feel that pull back into life. It's those moments and thoughts that save us acting as 'Messengers' reminding us that we have a future, as hard as it may feel to reach toward.

'Through the Black,' 2021

Series: Messengers (Triptych)


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 8 + 1AP


She stepped out of the world and into the black. She sat there, in the emptiness. Nothing remained, not even the wind had crossed over with her. There was just darkness and some of herself; not even her body really, just her whatever that was. The void was most of her, as the nothingness took over her body, wherever that was. Not many of her thoughts remained, nor memories or plans. Time itself didn't exist there, in the most nothing of places. And when she was the most absolute form of alone and little of her remained connected to the earth or anything in it, through the black, her 'Messenger' came...

'Recluse,' 2020

Series: Messengers (Triptych)


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 8 + 1AP


Even in the darkness, the 'Messenger' is ever present.

Series: Of the Light (Diptych)


"You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." - Saint Paul

‘Of the Light I,’ 2021

Series: Of the Light (Diptych)


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP



"You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." - Saint Paul


My aesthetic might be dark, but my themes will always hold light at their core.

‘Of the Light II,’ 2022

Series: Of the Light (Diptych)


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP



"You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." - Saint Paul


My aesthetic might be dark, but my themes will always hold light at their core.

Series: Helping Hands


Different to my usual full portraits, these helping hands reach into the same world. Moth ‘Messengers’ are drawn to the light and remind us of the transformation that is possible.

‘HELPING HAND I,’ 2022

Series: HELPING HANDS


12 X 12CM (MINI) | EDITION OF 50 + 2AP

32 X 32CM | EDITION OF 20 + 1AP


Different to my usual full portraits, these helping hands reach into the same world. Moth ‘Messengers’ are drawn to the light and remind us of the transformation that is possible.

‘HELPING HAND II,’ 2022

Series: HELPING HANDS


12 X 12CM (MINI) | EDITION OF 50 + 2AP

32 X 32CM | EDITION OF 20 + 1AP


Different to my usual full portraits, these helping hands reach into the same world. Moth ‘Messengers’ are drawn to the light and remind us of the transformation that is possible.

Individual Works

‘Prey,’ 2022


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP


The bird of prey sits grounded, the clouds in her skin a reminder of the air—her freedom, her power, her home.


The hunter turned prey, gathers her strength again.

'Gone to Seed,’ 2021


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP


Even when it seems all is lost, if you look closely, there may be seeds of potential hidden in plain sight...


It took a few days of looking at these dead wildflowers to realise - they weren't really dead! The flowers had all turned to seed (which was all over our house and stuck in all my socks for the duration of time it took to make this wildflower design). I chose to work with them because I like to repurpose elements of nature into art - things that might otherwise be discarded or go unnoticed. However, I soon realised there was more to them symbolically.


This image is for anyone who feels like they are enveloped in loss, or that there isn't much hope right now. Maybe something has gone to seed like the wildflowers. Countless new possibilites might spring up in a new season...

'Return to Aotearoa,' 2022


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP


This image was created on my first return to New Zealand, post Covid-19. My home country closed it's borders to it's own citizens for the duration of the pandemic, causing many kiwis to be displaced around the world, as visas fell through and circumstances changed.


This image is an expression of the death of freedom I experienced in this time, as well as the processing of the strain and new perspectives generated.


The bird the subject holds, represents freedom in a broad sense, as well as the literal ability to fly. The New Zealand fern that grows from the bird, symbolises new growth, as well as a sense of attachment to the homeland in my culture.


New beginnings and a fresh appreciation for my home spring from this experience, as well as a new awareness of it's shortcomings.

'Pupae,’ 2021


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP


What is love?


The online definition of a 'pupa,' is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation between immature and mature stages.


We undergo so many transformations as people. It's a commonly held belief these days that we change so much in our lifetimes, that we might just change ourselves out of our relationships. But what if we give up too easy?* What if we can undergo transformations together - allowing for one another, making it not all about ourselves as individuals, but about the best for the other?


I think that's love. Sometimes it's painful and uncomfortable and we can only hope to emerge together intact.

'Hatchling,’ 2022


32 X 40CM | EDITION OF 10 + 2AP

52 X 65CM | EDITION OF 5 + 1AP

80 X 100CM | EDITION OF 2 + 1AP


Growth often happens in darkness, but by the light we see it.


I imagine this character as a new creation - baby wings have begun to spring from her back, as the plaster and bangages that helped her heal fall away. New strength and resolve gathers, to discover a yet unfamiliar world...