Leigh Christensen

b. 1959

Leigh Christensen was born in Auckland and studied carving with Ngāti Whatua tohunga whakairo, Alan Nopera, during the early eighties. Christensen went on to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Fine Art in 1997 with Te Hoi Hau, a multi-disciplinary department at the University of Auckland.

In Another 100 New Zealand Artists (1996) Wariwck Brown described Christensen's carving motifs as "a synthesis of European and Māori ideas" that avoids "such pitfalls as trivialisation, pastiche, superficial modernising and kitsch." [Director of Oedipus Rex Gallery (Auckland), Jennifer Buckley, has described his later works as developing his] "ideas with integrated machine parts with totem-like timber carvings. In his seemingly endless quest for complexity, he has explored the realms of mathematical theory including the Mandelbrot’s fractal geometry, and Charles Babbage’s Victorian ‘computer-age’.”

~ cited from website.

Leigh Christensen , ‘MainFrame’ (1994), University of Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021