Saskia Leek

Saskia Leek (born 1970) is a New Zealand painter. Leek has been known to use already existing prints and op-shop images as a starting point for some of her works.[1] Leek has noted that "sometimes - and this has been talked about a lot - I use amateur paintings, just so I have something to work against. I might smear them out, or paint them really fast, or put a lot of detail in them, playing around with those kinds of things as a way to get started."[2] Her subject matter has included house pets, sunsets and sunrises, homes and cottages, chimney's and horses. Leek's focus has shifted from representation to Cubism and into Abstraction and thus has reflected the path of 20th century art.[1]

Saskia Leek
Born (1970-10-22) 22 October 1970
Alma materUniversity of Canterbury School Of Fine Arts
Known forPainting


Leek was born in 1970 in Christchurch, New Zealand and now lives in Dunedin.[3]

In 2005, Leek spent 12 weeks in New Plymouth as the Taranaki Artist in Residence.[4] In 2012 Nick Austin, Leek's partner, was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship. This resulted in the couple moving from Auckland to Dunedin for a year and staying on afterwards.[2] She is currently represented by Ivan Anthony Gallery in Auckland,[5] Hamish McKay Gallery in Wellington,[6] and Jonathan Smart Gallery in Christchurch.[7]

Education, Awards and Residencies

Leek graduated from the Canterbury School of Fine Arts.[8] Leek finished her MFA at the Elam School of Fine Art in 2016 in Auckland.[9] In 1997 won the Olivia Spencer Bower Award.[10] In 2009, Leek was nominated for the Auckland Art Gallery's Walters Prize[1] for her series Yellow is the Putty of the World. Leek was the Artist in Residence at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, New Zealand.[3]


2009 VARIOUS NIGHTS IN HEAVY LIGHT, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

2008 Thick Air Method, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, USA.

2008 Better Places, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, Australia.

2007 Tunnels, nets and holes, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

2006 - 2007 The Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.[3]

Public Collections

Leek's work is held in the following public collections:

  • Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
  • Auckland City Art Gallery
  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin[3]


  1. Dunn, Megan. Saskia Leek: Desk Collection – review. New Zealand Listener, 2013.
  2. Art New Zealand (Summer 2018). "Art New Zealand". Art New Zealand. 168: 46–53.
  3. "Saskia Leek | Artworks, Exhibitions, Profile & Content". 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  4. Dunn, Megan. Saskia Leek: Drifters. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2006.
  5. Ivan Anthony Gallery, 2018 ""
  6. Hamish McKay Gallery, 2018 ""
  7. Jonathan Smart Gallery, 2018 ""
  8. Dekker, Diana. Saskia Leek: rummaging, reuniting. Dominion Post, 2013.
  9. Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2019). "Exhibitions now showing". Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  10. "Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Art Award". Retrieved 11 February 2019.

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