Sam Leach: The Ecstasy of Infrastructure
With its seemingly incongruous title The Ecstasy of Infrastructure, this exhibition draws together a complex and dynamic web of interconnections, traversing a broad array of social, cultural, philosophical and scientific ideas and concerns. In conceiving this exhibition, the artist produced a diagrammatic chart outlining a network of associations which informed the development of a new suite of paintings. With their respective backgrounds in plumbing/housepainting, engineering and economics, Ralph Balson, Edwin Tanner and Leach are all linked, in the outer perimeter of this drawing, by their active involvement in the underlying infrastructure of society. For Leach, Balson and Tanner’s backgrounds in fields other than art seemed to point ‘to a particular way of viewing the world as system and construction’. In the centre of the sketch, the three artists are also drawn together by a shared interest in the relationship between art and science.
In this way, through the appropriation and incorporation of elements and ideas in the works of Tanner and Balson within his own painting practice, Leach continues his ongoing exploration of the nexus between art, science and philosophy, examining how developments in the interrelationship of these fields shape the way we perceive and make sense of the world around us.