Sandra Leonard

Girl With Cage
painted fabric, metal boning, yarn
68 x 36 x 24 in.

The driving force of my work is the sculptural costumes. My primary interest is creating living sculpture to challenge traditional perceptions of what sculpture can be. By integrating sculptural elements with the figure I create unique forms for the body. Using traditional sewing and construction techniques, I combine bold and obsessive fabric manipulations, altered textures, hand – painted patterns in an attempt to minimize the human element. Craft becomes Art. The costumes shapes and forms dictate movement. The colors and finishes inspire mood or feeling. I sometimes draw inspiration from historical costumes and theatrical couture. My goal is to push the abstraction of the figure further obscuring the human form.

Another key component in my process involves using painted fabrics. I use imagery from nature, stylized foliage and absurd creatures, suggesting whimsical narratives that draw the viewer into a dream like landscape. This process transforms the figure into a painting as well as sculpture. I then create a Performance piece or theatrical dance collaborating with performers, dancers and choreographers. When collaborating with performers to interpret the costumes, a reciprocal dynamic is set up as the costumes often impede motion therefore, dictating and or influencing movement. The resulting Performances bring the sculpture to life transforming the wearer into kinetic sculpture. My intention is to bridge art and theater by integrating sculpture with movement.

© Sandra Leonard