Scrapyard Saints - David Le Fleming
Oil painter David Le Fleming, recently returned to Wellington after 15 years painting in London’s Hackney Wick, wants to draw our attention to everyday people who hold communities together and often go unrecognised.
Using reclaimed surfaces like car bonnets, waste packaging and filing cabinet shelves, Le Fleming has painted large-scale, detailed portraits, including people known to the artist who he considers to be stand up humans.
The title piece, Polycycle Sigil, a bicapitated (two-headed) lion painted on a 1958-61 Singer Gazelle bonnet, draws on Le Fleming’s interest in heraldry to make a coat of arms for unsung heroes. By applying the visual language of privilege to a mundane surface, he points to the ease with which a society can consider itself meritocratic while celebrating a restricted social class.
Instead of revealing his subjects’ achievements, Le Fleming plays cards close to his chest, inviting viewers to consider how and why some people are underestimated, and the consequences for a society facing significant environmental challenges.
Le Fleming, 42, has exhibited in top galleries worldwide, including London’s Saatchi Gallery, Frankfurt’s Union Hall and Paris’s Carrousel du Louvre. His work is collected by Deutsch Bank, Concord Records and Wellington’s Museum Hotel.
This exhibition of new and recent work, Scrapyard Saints, opens at Potocki Paterson Art Gallery at 41 Dixon Street on Friday, 17 August and runs until Sunday, 26 August 2018.