• Leigh Skinner

Leigh Skinner’s new body of work is titled turbulence. Within this collection of vibrant canvases a small group of paintings is subtitled playing with fire. The latter title is both literal and metaphorical, and refers to Leigh’s technique of heating and burning; and to an experimental juxtapositioning occasionally at odds with the polite rules of composition.

Skinner is in the business of images. As a photographer she captures the moody skies, the worn buildings; and the striking diversity of the people of the area of the Eastern Cape where she lives. However, paint and the act of painting are Leigh’s day-to-day passion ~ images to be brushed on canvas run constantly and exuberantly through her mind, and into her notebooks.

A segment of works in her new exhibition hold a strange contradiction. The rows of oil paint and charcoal ‘boxes’ within the paintings speak simultaneously of containment, and of breaking out. Figures, rich with colour and texture, have a shimmering energy, as if about to leap off the canvas when the gallery doors close. These are paintings from someone who is in love with light, and with life.