May's Featured Artist - Ursula Leach

In the first of our Monthly Fetaured Artist here on Designed in Dorset, we are delighted to introduce Ursula Leach. If like us you are a fan of Dorset Arts week then you may be familiar with her work. You can also get up close and personla with some of her work at the Art Stable in Child Okeford. They have held regular exhibitions of her work and are planning another next year in 2021.

Ursula Leach has lived in Iwerne Minster in Dorset for two years, and before that in Cranborne for several decades, so her work, which is about landscape, has been exploring Dorset for all of her career as a painter and printmaker. You can keep up to date with Ursula on Twitter here...

Dark Tree and Winter Wheat Glimmer Ursula Leach 1 Ursula Leech Previous Next

Ursula Leach trained in fine art at Winchester, Wimbledon and West Surrey Colleges of Art and has exhibited widely in solo, group and touring exhibitions in the UK, Japan and Australia most recently in The Sydney Contemporary Art Fair. She has had work in two prestigious London galleries, Marlborough Fine Art and The Redfern Gallery while exhibiting regularly in solo and group shows at Oliver Contemporary, London for the last 15 years, The Art Stable, Blandford for 10 years and The Bankside Gallery, London where she was made a fellow in 1996.
Touring exhibitions include Elemental Insight at the Met Office, Exeter and museums nationwide, Circles and Tangents at Dorset County Museum and Salisbury Museum. Leach has been included in many Open prize shows such as The Threadneedle Prize Exhibition, London, The Hunting Art Prizes at The Royal College of Art, The Discerning Eye, London and International and National Open Print Exhibitions where she has three times won prizes. She has also shown at The Royal Academy, Southampton City Art Gallery and The Mostyn Art Gallery, Llanduduno.
There have been reviews in The Week, The Wall Street Journal, Galleries magazine, The Spectator (Andrew Lambirth) and Contemporary Art magazine, the most recent in 2016 in The Week. Leach is also included in several publications amongst others Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking, Printmakers Secrets, Circles and Tangents, Art in the Shadow of Cranborne Chase and 50 Wessex Artists

What the critics say:

"Shape and colour lead us to the heart of Ursula Leach’s work: her interpretation of the landscape in and around Cranborne Chase. She examines field systems and notes the effects of new agricultural methods. Her gloriously heightened colour reflects the changes in crop and soil treatment. She draws first in the landscape to understand its forms, and then re-works her observations in the studio, exploring her responses to things seen. Colour establishes the mood and inflects the bold structures of Leach’s images, and offers a broad range of optical and emotional pleasures. Although Leach is a formal artist, interested in the interplay of geometric and organic, she is equally concerned with subject. She looks to the land as our essential context, and comments on the all-too-frequent spoliation of it. In the rigour of its formal simplifications, her work goes beyond appearances and investigates underlying shapes and patterns. As Robert Motherwell so emphatically put it: ‘no rendering of the appearance of reality can move us like a revelation of its structure.’ Through images of rare and surprising beauty, Ursula Leach makes us look again at our surroundings."

Andrew Lambirth, Art Critic

We would like to thank Kelly Ross of the The Art Stable for introducing us to Ursula and hope to meet one day in person. We are looking forward to Kelly's choice for June 2020.