Leigh Tawharu, is a contemporary mixed media and printmaking artist. Leigh made the shift from Auckland's suburbia to the rural wonderland of Kaeo, Te Tai Tokerau, following a lifelong fascination with fabrics, textiles, sewing and fashion filled years of experimental sewing for the wearable and not so.
After training in the Applied Arts Degree at North Tec, Whangarei this was combined with an invigorated passion for drawing and printmaking. Mixing experimental ideas of fine art and craft, with new techniques, honed into an aesthetic, inherently informed and influenced by the fundamentals of fabric and fashion, delving into what surface texture, design, colour and construction actually represents.
Drawing inspiration from realism's tradition of still life, within Tawharu's immediate domestic realm and surrounding landscape. Enriched by a lifetime of collecting and treasuring, the home and studio are filled with exotic knick-knackery, plant life and textiles. Immense pleasure is gained from the object and the cloth, and the memories they hold, the strange and the eclectic, the plain and the ordinary, the look and the feel.
Tawharu was a semi-finalist in the 2022 Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards (drawing & painting), has exhibited in Auckland and Whangarei respectively, and has art works in private collections.