This exhibition brings together recent work with earlier paintings from the 1970’s and 80’s, highlighting Leapman’s move from the early monochromatic canvases to the more recent coloured paintings.
The early works show pronounced lines that are rendered in thin transparent whites, whereas the later work contrasts broad colourful brushstrokes painted over contrasting base colours; ranging from shimmering blues to dark reds and purples. Guided by parallel lines, Leapman draws a brush across the canvas from left to right, thus the paint engages with the weave of the canvas with varying intensity and depth, resulting in her characteristic paintings with their rhythmic, resonating surfaces.
Leapman originally worked figuratively and her early abstract works were a natural evolution from her exploration of Chinese landscapes coupled with her longstanding interest in music and the timely influence of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. Her attempts to portray music in painting resulted in an exploration beyond the representation of a musical performance to the underlying structure of the music itself; she wanted to explore sonority, both in music and painting, revealing their common harmonies and tones. Leapman asserts “Sonority is a word to describe a feeling that I would like to find, in painting as in music.” Implicit in her paintings, as in music, is the notion that colour, tone and light influence the emotions. Complementing this, the gallery space allows for a changing experience of Leapman’s paintings with the different conditions of light and space, juxtaposing early and recent works like the differing harmonies that find unity in a single piece of music.