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Artist from New Zealand takes on Key Role for Swedish Art Education

News: Jan 12, 2016

The process of seeking a new Head of Fine Art at Valand Academy began in late 2014. It has been a long process, with applications from many different parts of the world, that is now concluded by the recruitment of the artist and educator Maddie Leach.

Mick Wilson, the Head of Valand Academy, announces the recruitment of Maddie Leach, who will start her new position in early 2016.- I am delighted that we have found the person we were looking for who combines artistic achievement with collegiate leadership.Maddie Leach is an artist and educator previously based in Wellington, New Zealand where she has been teaching in Fine Art at Massey University. She is internationally recognised for her subtle, compelling and highly original work addressing issues of material, site, relationship and process.

Artistic Practice Beyond the Gallery

Over the last decade Maddie Leach has shifted her artistic focus from a series of large-scale sculpture installations in galleries towards projects that aim to innovate in the way they set space, time, place and audience into arrangements that extend beyond the gallery site.

She follows a research-intensive approach to develop conceptual trajectories and work through questions of materiality, process and public presentation with the aim of adapting and responding to local conditions. 

Creative Arts Education to Strengthen Understanding of Possibilities

Maddie Leach believes in demonstrating and encouraging students to develop the ability to think provocatively and reflexively about their own work, and the work being produced around them. Much of the basis for this approach has been done by the critique process, group discussion and workshop-style exploration.
- I have been involved in teaching studio-based creative arts education for more than 15 years. My own learning within that process has aimed to develop and strengthen each student’s conceptual and practical understanding of the possibilities that inform contemporary art practices.
Maddie Leach describes her teaching style as intensive, challenging and supportive. She believes in the self-reflexive and transformative processes that undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Fine Art initiate and develop for each student;

- Careful listening, thinking, talking and focused questioning is the basis of my exchange with students at all levels. At more introductory levels I also understand the importance of ‘performance teaching’ whereby my energy and commitment to the art-making process is effectively and dynamically communicated to new or less experienced students.

The new Head of Unit is looking forward to beginning her employment at Valand Academy and working with the Fine Arts team on the programme development they have initiated. She says she is extremely interested in the unique possibilities the teaching and learning environment offers at Valand and is impressed with the facilities and the capabilities of the students studying at the school.

Picture: Private


Page Manager: Pia Ahnlund|Last update: 4/6/2016

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