For my Shadow Sculpture series I borrow ‘casting objects’ that are invested with their lenders’ emotions, memories, and sense of identity. I interview each lender about their attachment to their object, and then create a shadow with it. Although the shadow’s composition is influenced by my interpretation of lenders’ stories, ultimately the shadow becomes a detached, autonomous entity, no longer anchored to, or a stand-in for, its casting object.
Reproduced in my paintings, each shadow becomes a manifestation of, or ‘remains‘ of, my exchange with the lender. I build my paintings in many fine, flat, transparent layers, ‘sculpting’ with colour. I am interested in the moment when the painting takes on a life of its own and seems to guide my hand; when the colour-sculpted presence takes on an expression of ‘suchness’, and becomes an intricately detailed, solid form.
Overall my paintings are a visual language resisting verbal interpretation, untied to literal meaning, an ‘absented presence’. They sit silently in the globalised, unanchored, over-information that we increasingly drift in.
Lesley Bunch studied at Goldsmiths’ College and the School of Oriental and African Studies. She has a BA in Fine Art & Art History and an MA in Archaeology focusing on Japanese art of the Edo Period. In 2014 she completed a year’s residency at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL.
Bunch was awarded the Contemporary British Painting Prize in 2022. She has exhibited in the UK, Europe, Asia, and the US, with solo shows ‘Absence : Presence’ in Rome, ‘Shadow Language’ in Seoul, and ‘Cut Two Pieces in Three’ in London. Group shows include: ‘50th International Award Exhibition’ San Diego Art Institute; ‘Ludlow Open’; ‘Painting Now’ Bryant and Keeling Prize; ‘Stand and See’ Wimbledon Space; ‘Windows into the Virtual’ Loosenart Rome; ‘Ten Artists to Watch’ Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; and ‘Visual Representations of Multilingualism’ British Association for Applied Linguistics in partnership with Multilingual Matters and the AILA Research Network for Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics.