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Artist Statement

Dr Leonie Ngahuia Mansbridge born in New Zealand, Ngāti Maniapoto.
Mansbridge has a PhD from Curtin University. Her research is an investigation of living as a Māori/Pākehā, criss-crossing a cultural Corridor. This research title is a continuation and culmination of the main driver behind 13 years of study. As an Indigenous artist, I consciously position myself on the fault-lines of culture, taking a cross-cultural and cross disciplinary approach to practiced led research.
Mansbridge uses her art as a tool to engage with issues around colonisation and identity. Mansbridge artwork needs to be understood as an informed practice, which can function as an artwork and a social document. Languages of materials, along with titles are used to interpret her work. Mansbridge uses the capacity to re-story, highlight, uncloak and unmask colonial history. Through an understanding of how materials and artefacts have a language that is anchored to cultural histories, Mansbridge repurpose significant materials to question cemented colonial histories. Found objects are utilised, scrabble pieces, placemats, and paint are underpinning to the practice, the found objects used can be read as a metaphor for what already exists, an occupied space.  Mansbridge approach to painting is also one of utilising found materials, the use of house paints, spray paints and anything left over from other jobs. Works are modestly fabricated by hand, and there is no high-tech production or outsourcing. I find supplies for the material in toy stores, hardware shops, two-dollar shops, and non-art shops. The immediacy of the working methods reveals the flaws and irregularities; these qualities are inherent in the practice. They expose both the methodology and the person. Making flaws or smudging the paint is not deliberate; it just seems to happen, evidence of action, an attribute of the identity blots, smears, and smudges are symbolic fingerprints. Paint is used to make marks, though I am not a painter. Mansbridge is a story teller with her creative arts practice is an important aspect of her storying.  Throughout Mansbridge ‘s art practice part of her art methodology is to use codes and directional devices pointing to a specific idea or place. Masking and unmasking, packing and unpacking, deconstructing and reconstructing as agencies for visualisation. Landscape alongside culture has been an object of study.  Mansbridge creates the juxtaposing of colour and things entangle the work so we see what others do not. The resultant artworks are conceptual, offering a minimal and often colourful presentation to the audience, and the continually of visual irony that distils her practice.