Artwork Detail

Harmonic People
Paramount Award Winner, Wallace Art Awards 2017

“Much of the featured symbols found in my work derive directly from items and objects I surround myself with in my studio. At times, my work has referenced social problems: migrant factory workers, corruption in churches and other issues with political undertones, but the style of Harmonic People focuses more on community, friendship and cooperative efforts. The setting is utopian and it’s a place that invites me to share its visual language. It’s a place I am keen to explore further because it has meaning to me and it makes me happy”.

Andy Leleisi’uao, 2017

“Working intuitively, Andy Leleisi’uao shows great skill at creating complex compositions, dividing his canvases into compartments filled with silhouetted figures, busily at work. Many of the objects that can be discerned in this painting are based on items he has around him in his studio. His ingenuity lies in the ability to transform artefacts of the everyday into a symbolic order. A hammer, for example, becomes a metaphor for building an ideal society where everyone co-exists in order and unity.

His references are both comic strips and black-figure Greek vase painting, where a narrative is conveyed in frames. Colour is used sparingly, with accents of pink and red occurring for special emphasis – a wooden lion on wheels or a long-tailed comb move the eye in the same direction as reading, left to right. Overhead in many of the scenes is a red dot, the constant shining sun, which accompanies daytime labours, but also is a punctuation point of interest which through repetition connects each section into a harmonious whole”.

Linda Tyler, Wallace Art Awards Judge, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
1500 x 2400mm
Accession date
15 May 2018
Accession number

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