Artist CV attached as a pdf:Leong Artist CV

Here are some of the best things happening in my artist-world, from awards, exhibitions, to gallery representation and other accolades:

Immersion: an immersive video Installation, Yukon Arts Centre, Nov. 25, 2022 – Feb. 18, 2023.

“Immersion” is a re-creation of the experience of being one with the environment, without separation, of being whole. The viewer is a vital component of this piece as the viewer is inside the video installation, and part of it.

“normally we look at the image from the outside looking in, but this time I am inside the images and part of it.”

Experiences of connection to the natural world provide a glimpse of our fundamental human nature, which is often missing in our fast paced, technology driven society. Distracted as we are. Our imagination, the quality that makes us20221125_174518 edit uniquely human, also separates us from being whole with our natural environment. It can also reconnect us to our core nature and recall the fundamental connectedness throughout nature, which includes ourselves. Art can help us use our imagination in this way.

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This installation is part of the group exhibition, “a god show” at the Yukon Arts Centre public gallery. See the on-line catalogue.

Polaris, the film: Making armour for a band of post-apocalyptic warrior women

In February and March 2021, my assistant and I were tasked with making 21 suits of armour from recycled materials in 3 weeks. This Blog Post talks about how we made out.

See the  Zero Waste Yukon Article, Polaris: Artist Leslie Leong Creates Costumes from Scrap. and listen to a CBC radio interview with Dave White , Yukon with Max Fraser, Leslie Leong, Donald Watt on making movies in Yukon

Melt: Permafrost, climate change and hope

A visual art project about climate change, but also about hope.  Interrupted by the pandemic, the data collection phase is now complete. Using this data, the work on the exhibition is underway.

In February, I collected permafrost (ethically) from Tuktoyuktuk, NWT, with residents James and Lucky Pokiak. I hauled it down to Whitehorse planning to melt it in the courtyard of the McBride Museum. When they closed due to Covid-19, I had to relocate the permafrost to my front yard.

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I have documented the melt by time-lapse video, (thanks to Karine Genest & Kelsey Eliasson for tech. support). The original permafrost was measured and weighed (485 lbs.).  And I collected the remaining solid matter after the melt. (Images from this process can be found below).

Re: Climate Change

Permafrost, community freezer, Tuktoyuktuk, Northwest Territories, sand, ice
Permafrost in the community freezer under the community of Tuktoyuktuk, Northwest Territories. The dark areas are ice and the light swirls are a sand/ice mix.

To illustrate how little soil is under many communities in the circumpolar world, (whole communities will slump into the ocean as the Arctic warms), I plan to develop  3-D sculptural representations of the permafrost (100% size) for display with the pile of solid matter melted out of the permafrost, and the time lapse video. As can be seen in the community freezer 40 feet under Tuktoyuktuk, the community sits on permafrost composed of predominantly ice.

Re: Hope

After an artist residency in Svalbard, I ended up back home with climate change depression. It was debilitating. Inflicting youth with this dis-ease was also weighing heavy on my mind. My path out of the depression was via the Japanese philosophy of golden repair, often symbolized by a broken teacup repaired with gold in the cracks.  I concluded:
Climate change is here and happening, our planet is broken. It is now time to embrace the brokenness, slow further decline, and create something new and beautiful from that place.
This conclusion has begun to manifest itself in my work in the form of golden cracks.

To illustrate a broken planet and golden repair, I plan to lay golden material (temporarily) in wild, natural landscapes and photograph them. An example can be seen below “Golden Repair for Our Planet, Sept. 2019”


Eventually this work will evolve and be formulated into an exhibition. The work will include a collaborative aspect with award winning writer/poet, Joanna Lilley, who visited the permafrost during the melt for creative inspiration.

Watch one of the three time-lapse videos of a piece of permafrost melting in a controlled environment:

Images of the resulting residue from melting small pieces of permafrost in a controlled environment:

Media Coverage:  Sneak Peek, Galleries West May 26, 2020; Whitehorse Star coverage, March 31st 2020

Ubiquitous: Technology and the Human Experience, Yukon Arts Centre, Sept. 5 – Nov. 22, 2019.

See the full on-line exhibition: Ubiquitous,  the Artist Statement and an insightful biography by Detmar Schwitchenberg.

Media Coverage:  What’s Up Yukon , Yukon North of Ordinary Magazine Fall 2019 and Whitehorse Star photo.

Golden Repair for Our Planet, Sept. 2019

The Japanese have a philosophy, Kintsukuroi, often symbolized by a broken tea cup repaired with gold highlighting the cracks, making a new, beautiful artifact, yet honouring it’s fractured history.

Lead by Leslie Leong, with artists Donald Watt, Jo McCarthy, Martha Ritchie & Linda Leon enact golden repair on our environment. Watch the 3-minute video.

This work is part of Micro Galleries Disrupting Climate Disruption: Global Day of Creative Action. Inspired by Adam Kuby and Shohei Katayama work in The Arctic.

Media Coverage: CBC Radio – A New Day with Elyn Jones, Sept. 20, 2019

Winning Design: Northlight Innovation Centre Bike Rack Designs 2019

Combining the Northlight logo and figurative motifs of Yukon’s environment:

Village of Haines Junction Public Art Project, 2018/2019

A team of artists, lead by Leslie Leong, developed designs for the Grand Hall in the convention centre. The $70,000 project resulted in 34 metal cut-outs mounted on the four walls of the 56 x 50 foot performance venue. About 1700 lbs. of 12-gauge steel were powder coated black and installed in April 2019.

back Wall

Media Coverage: CBC-Yukon radio interview with Meagan Deuling, Whitehorse, Yukon, May 29, 2018.

Artist in Residence, Ted Harrison Retreat, Sept. through Nov. 2018

A 900 sq. ft. studio, plus a generous living space, looking over Crag Lake and Ted Harrison’s original Cabin. This beautiful remote setting has been so appreciated.

Broken WordsNorth
Kintsukuroi for our planet. Broken, we build anew embracing the flaws. I hope we have enough time.

The time and space was important to process the experience of  The Arctic Circle Program in the international waters of Svalbard, Norway, and my consequent climate change depression. My resolution is to embrace the fact that our planet is broken, look to a future, incorporating the flaws, and build something new and beautiful, like Kintsukuroi, the Japanese art of golden repair, symbolized by a repaired teacup with cracks filled with gold. As part of Culture Days, I hosted an artist talk, with a slide show on the expedition and a discussion of this resolution. A further Artist Talk was held late January. The 30-minute talk can be viewed online: Arctic Epiphany, Svalbard.

Media Coverage: CBC-North radio interview with Marc Winkler, Yellowknife, NWT, Sept. 29, 2018.

Broken, a test piece coming through this thinking is a response to a poem by Helen Knott, on exhibit until Oct. 31st 2019 in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, as part of the Words North Writing Festival. Thank you Helen Knott for sharing your untitled poem. And thank you Shohei Katayama and Adam Kuby, for laying golden emergency blankets in a glacial crack during The Arctic Circle Artist Residency expedition, June 2018. All three of you are inspirations.

The Ted Harrison Artist Retreat  has also been important for my preparation for an exhibition in the main gallery of the Yukon Arts Centre.  As well as work on the following project:

Precious: A textural exploration. Jewellery exhibition, Nov. 2018

On-line exhibition: Precious

Details for the Precious Exhibition with three images of pendants: Cubic Zirconia set inside a knot in found wood; molten copper disc with an opal bead; caribou horn sliced and adorned with glass beads in an asymmetrical composition

Media Coverage: What’s Up Yukon, Nov. 14, 2018.

The Arctic Circle Residency, June 2018.

…on a tall ship exploring the waters around Svalbard, Norway. An incredible experience crossing the 80th parallel, with 29 artists and 13 crew observing glaciers calving, icebergs, walrus, polar bears, blue whales, and bird life in 24-hour daylight. I have started a gallery of images .  An article in The Guardian includes a couple of my photos, written by fellow Artist in Residence, Rowan Moore.  Sarah Hymas, another ship fellow, is presenting a paper with some of my insights, (as a circumpolar citizen), at the Citizens of Everywhere Postgraduate symposium, University of Liverpool, Centre for New and International Writing.  I hope to post something when it is ready. And if you are interested, check out The Arctic Circle Program

Media Coverage: CBC-Yukon radio with Tara McCarthy, Whitehorse, Yukon, May 30, 2018.

Yukon Tourism Banner Art: Canada’s 150th Anniversary

Hanging throughout Yukon, the Canada 150th Anniversary Tourism banner was replicated from Leslie Leong’s original artwork: a linocut, 15×29 inches, printed with oil based ink, hand coloured with watercolour paint. The banner illustrates Yukon’s unique identity while recognizing its unity with, and contribution to, the rest of the country.

Check out more here for photos of the making of the artwork and the final banners in place.

Media Coverage: CKRW news / RUSH 96.1 FM  and  Yukon Government Press Release

SubARCCtic V Spring Residency 2017:

Leslie Leong orchestrated a two-week community art-build project in Yellowknife, NWT through the Yellowknife Artist Run Community Centre’s SubARCCtic V residency. Built from construction site 2×4″ off-cuts and reject lumber, a Great Slave Lake creature, named Ascuvus, has become part of the permanent collection of the Northern Frontier Visitors Association. The design and build involved two local schools, residents, tourists and contributing businesses – wow, Yellowknife is so awesome and generous!

Check out more here for a discussion of process and design, the completed sculpture and photos during the art-build project.

Media Coverage: My Yellowknife Now / 100.1 Moose FM and the  Yellowknifer

Winner of Cover Art Competition for Arts North Of Ordinary 2016/17 season:

Arts North of Ordinary Annual Cover winner: Original Mixed media artwork using recycled computer boards and reclaimed wood by Leslie Leong, Canadian artist, Whitehorse, Yukon.

Leslie Leong’s piece “Do Trees Have Memory at Midnight” won the Arts North of Ordinary Cover Competition for the 2016/17 season. Tara McCarthy wrote great article inside and you can read it here.

HRH Kate, Duchess of Cambridge receives Klondike Core necklace:

During Their Royal Highnesses’ tour of Canada, HRH Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge graciously accepted a gift of my Klondike Core necklace and shook my hand in Carcross, Yukon. See photos of the event are here, and the follow-up thank-you letter here. Since the core sample is actually a slice of Yukon bedrock, I felt it was the best souvenir I could possibly give to HRH Duchess of Cambridge.

If you want a necklace like hers, you can find it in my on-line store.

“Milk Maid” is presented in opening performance of Junction Artist Residency Gala Fashion Show.

ball gown made of recycled milk jugs by Leslie Leong

The ball gown made from recycled milk jugs, is part of the opening performance of the Junction Artist Residency Gala Fashion Show in Haines Junction, Yukon. The gown was made during the summer artist residence workshop program, “Sewing Through the Landscape.”  More images during the event with model, Lyn Fabio can be found here.

Milk Maid continues to be a feature display at “reDesign: the craft fair” held annually in November, featuring a collection of artisans embracing creative reuse by working with discarded and salvaged materials to make new products.

Beyond Focus: Exhibition of Abstract Photography

Beyond Focus exhibition poster. And exhibition of abstract photography by Leslie Leong, Canadian artist living and working in Whitehorse, Yukon

In this exhibition Leslie brings photography back into her art practice, as it is one of the mediums in which she holds a special skill. She has authored two photography books on the North and provided editorial and stock photos for countless books, magazines and advertising. In this exhibition, Leslie’s fascination with contrast, texture, pattern and form is evident.

You can view the Beyond Focus Exhibition on-line.

Created at the Canyon: plein air and exhibition

For two consecutive years Leslie was selected as one of the five demonstrating and exhibiting artists for the weekend en plein air event, Created in the Canyon and subsequent exhibition. One year Leslie created paper vessels and the other year, linocut prints.

You can view the resulting paper vessels as well as others on-line. And her linocut prints and more are also on-line.

Insidious: multi-disciplinary exhibition explores the insidious nature of technology

Insidious: Exhibition Poster - Leslie Leong, Canadian Artist, Whitehorse, Yukon“As a torrent of bits and bytes reshapes the world around us, I wonder if we are awake or caught in a dream that could become a nightmare. Are we lucid enough to control this emerging technological force, or – for the sake of convenience and amusement – will we happily drown in a sea of bots, apps and lolcats?”

You can view the Insidious Exhibition on-line.

Media Coverage:  What’s Up Yukon

Metal-Stone-Clay: an exhibition of natural textures represented in ceramics and metalsmith work

Metal Stone Clay“My process begins with open creative play and experimentation. I explore texture in the natural world, often through photography. A cloud of textural ideas develops in my subconscious mind. When I sit down to create, months, years later, it comes back to me in my art forms.”

You can view the Metal-Stone-Clay Exhibition on-line.

Media Coverage: Yukon News

Shift: rethinking materials for use in many art forms

06a Shift“Shift” named for it’s altered perspective on materials, reflection on the state of our society, the rethinking of stuff and our throw-away society, the remaking, reuse and recycling of stuff into art pieces that have a lasting quality in counter-action to designed obsolescence in today’s manufactured goods.

Rather than confining her creativity to any one medium, Leslie lets the material determine the medium, mixing of the technical with the creative in a variety of forms and media. From industrial design, or rather re-design, to abstract photographs, to jewellery using alternative materials, this exhibit may open minds to alternate possibilities.

You can view the Shift Exhibition on-line.

Media Coverage: Yukon News and What’s Up Yukon

Blood-letting: a rite of purification / Mixed media installation

Blood-letting Exhibition Poster - Mixed media by Leslie Leong, Canadian Artist, Whitehorse, Yukon

Blood-letting, a ceremonial act with the intent of creating a higher degree of consciousness.
“I am tired of us behaving like good little citizens in our industrialized society like cogs in a mechanized apparatus. I want people to think, to question, to live consciously. If nothing changes, then at least we have actively chosen the way things are, and we can only blame ourselves and the choices we make.
I suspect that if people truly question things, and make intentional choices, then they will be unable to live their lives in the same manner. They will become discontent with the status quo, be invigorated by what is possible, and work towards achieving that.

Inspired by the visual impact of “Flagellation Wall” by Austrian avant-garde artist, Herman Nitsch, the blood background expresses how I often feel about the world we, as humans, have created. It is the “blood of us” in sacrifice, to purge our human imperfections, and the pain and suffering they cause. In self-sacrifice, I have incorporated blood from my own veins into the background of each piece. It is an offering. The exhibit is an offering and a prayer for humanity to wake up and take note of what results from our menial, daily actions that we assume have no impact on the greater whole of humanity, of spirit, of creation, of the All.”

You can view the Blood-letting Exhibition on-line.

Media Coverage: Whats Up Yukon and Yukon News

Various Other Media Coverage:

Crafty Types Take Trash, Make Treasures, Yukon News.

Zero Heroes, Zero Waste Yukon

Creative Collaboration, Yukon News

Visual Words Get Political at Arts Underground, Yukon News

Wide Ranging Photographer Captures Both Hemispheres, Yukon News

Gallery Representation:

Down to Earth Gallery, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Yukon Artists at Work, Whitehorse, Yukon

Arts Underground, Whitehorse, Yukon

My On-line Store

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