Regardless of where we live or the circumstances we face, emotions link us all. Emotions are what make us human and unite us as a species.
Unfortunately this also means we are all affected by grief, loneliness, and sadness. This has been particularly apparent over the last three years as Covid strikes indiscriminately across the globe.
Leigh Schneider’s debut exhibition ‘Beyond the Shadows’ seeks to ignite a 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, isolation and depression; inviting the viewer to look deeper into the symbolism of the images, which point at a way forwards.
Born in a small Waikato town but now living in Germany, Leigh tackles emotions many of us have experienced but often hide from the outside world. Her works may initially be perceived as dark but when looked at carefully reveal hope: hope for the future, hope for compassion and hope for each other.
While my work might appear on the surface to be dark aesthetically, the core of my concepts focusses on the light. I’m inspired by the idea of a world beyond what we immediately see, as well as human emotion and the capacity we all have for transformation and growth. For this reason, I don’t really think of my work as ‘dark,’ as much as ‘stealthily optimistic.’
Featuring 12 framed limited edition photographic works, the collection has been completed over a period of three years.
While most of the works were shot in Leigh’s German studio, one stands out with its distinctive New Zealand fern: ‘Return to Aotearoa’. Created on the artist's first return to her home country, New Zealand, post Covid-19. The work visualises the displacement felt by many kiwi’s when New Zealand closed it's borders to it's own citizens for the duration of the pandemic and visas fell through and circumstances changed.
Like ‘Return to Aotearoa’ each work has its own narrative which will be available to read alongside the artwork either online or in the gallery.
While each work stands on its own, some tell a story across several pieces such as the three pieces that form the ‘messengers’ series: a series which is about being in a dark place and the 'Messengers' we carry with us—our personal patrons of the future. Always there, not always acknowledged.
‘Beyond the Shadows’ opens Saturday 21 January from 4pm.
Please join us for the opening for drinks and nibbles and to meet the artist.
Leigh Schneider is a Conceptual Fine Art Photographer. Born in 1986, she grew up between a small town in farmland Waikato, New Zealand and remote desert in the Outback of Queensland, Australia.
Her interest in photography started at the age of sixteen, when she won a regional competition for analogue portraiture. Leigh went on to gain a Bachelor’s in Computer Graphic Design, working in the field for a decade. In 2017, after a house robbery resulted in the loss of all her work, she decided to reinvest the insurance payout into her first full-frame digital camera. From there, she began to self-teach Fine Art Photography and fell in love with the process and possibilities of the digital medium.
Leigh has worked commercially as a Fine Art Photographer and Art Director, creating cover art for professional musicians and the image world for a German creative agency.
Leigh's work has been awarded and published internationally. Most recently, Leigh’s piece ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ saw her named as a finalist in Beautiful Bizarre’s 2022 Annual Art Prize. Her image ‘Pupae’ appeared in print, in Issue 38 of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Leigh currently resides near Frankfurt, Germany, with her husband.