South African visual artist Leigh Tuckniss

Leigh Tuckniss

Cape Town | 0 artworks for sale

“(…) the fluidity of the ink allows for an uncontrolled expression, which I find equally playful and challenging” .

Tuckniss interrogates themes of identity and dreamingly paints movement, form and mood. She purposefully isolates her subject matter, whether it be animal or human, in a space of white nothingness. Suspending her investigations in an eternal limbo, inviting the viewer to engage with the energy that’s portrayed. Painting predominantly in the medium of ink and watercolor, Tuckniss plays with the fluidity at hand, actively capturing the movement of her chosen subject matter.

Born in 1989, Leigh Tuckniss completed her honors degree BFA (Painting) in 2010, at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. Working as a painter, Tuckniss plays with a variety of mediums and surfaces, however the medium of ink is highly favoured.

Selected Exhibitions:

Group exhibition “Novel”, at Repeat after Me, Cape Town
Group exhibition "Ebb and Flow", Repeat After Me, Cape Town

Group exhibition "Stellar", Salon 91, Cape Town
Pop up exhibition "Chronicle", Repeat After Me

Group Exhibition "Art of Objects", The Studio, Cape Town
Group Exhibition "Face to Figure", The Studio, Cape Town
Group Exhibition "SKULLDUGGERY", The Studio, Cape Town
Solo Exhibition "Music at Night", The Studio, Cape Town
Group Show "Pieces and Puzzles", Lovell Gallery, Cape Town
Group Show "One in a Million", Salon 91, Cape Town
Group Show "Drawing Your Own Conclusions", The Studio, Cape Town

Solo Exhibition "Metanoia", The Studio, Cape Town

Group Exhibition "This Must Be the Place" at Brundyn + Gonsalves, Cape Town

Graduate Show at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

Group show "Undiscovered Graduates", VANSA, Cape Town

2016:Commissioned album artwork for musician Alice Pheobe Lou "Orbit"
2013:Commissioned album cover design for musician Thor Rixon "Thor Rixon's Big E.P. "

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
My friend’s Grace Cross, Imraan Christian and Io Makandal. Otherwise, Ronald Muchatuta, Mustafa Maluka, Diane Victor, Elize Vossgatter.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Dumile Feni, I love his figurative studies, his line work. Irma Stern, I love her technique and use of colour.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
A Mark Rotho painting.

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Marlene Dumas – Her fluidity of the medium
Imraan Christian – His mystical subject matter and photographic eye
Cathy Layzell – Her technique and use of colour

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist, it was just a very strong calling from early on. My parents were incredibly supportive and helped me follow this. I studied Fine Art at Michaelis UCT and worked at a gallery for a while afterwards, but it was not until the birth of my first born that I really began working hard at my dream.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
Mystery (through human and animal observation): obscurity, dis/connection, movement, isolation, unspoken narration.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
Perhaps it’s the process of choosing my subject matter and how I go about working that into my artwork. I observe people a lot (passively and actively), I also make use of my husband as my in-house model when inspiration springs to mind. A lot of composition decisions are made in my head while soothing my child to sleep and then I sneak into my studio and execute those visions.

Tell us more about your creative process.
My creative process is inter-tangled with motherhood/parenthood. As I grow in my role as a guardian my process of creativity grows too. Time and productivity is interlinked with my home priorities, this defiantly influences my art in a very positive and visceral way. My art is all about movement and the physicality of being and feeling.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Yes if one can, or has the opportunity to do so. Regardless of whether you are an artist or not, I believe as humans we should all give back to society in some way.

Do you have a favorite or most meaningful work?
I once made this painting of a woman diving or swimming downwards, it’s abstract and loose and signifies a kind of envious solitude. Like being underwater and the sounds of life above are drowned out. I painted it on scrap paper and its edges are worn, but it’s very special to me.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
My Children. Absolute Masterpieces.

What are your aspirations for the future?
To live a sustainable and fruitful life from my art career.
To fill the walls of an art museum. To travel the world painting. To own a book shop/gallery.