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About

HELEN LEETE : Creating sculpture gives her great joy This is suggested in the genuine human connections which pervade her work. She seems to have found that working quietly, with a low profile, she can create with more authenticity and soul. This is also possibly why so many people are drawn to her work and several collectors have up seven of her large bronzes or landscape forms in their gardens.
PUBLIC WORKS
There are several of her public sculptures around Sydney.
“Earthmother” in the Royal Botanic Gardens near the Opera House, is a vastly popular work which has drawn comment from a wide variety of admirers, from all over the world, while children particularly are drawn to the space within the arch of the arms. “Oceanides” in the ocean, off Fairy Bower, is another much-loved public work, appearing in many publications. (The engineer who helped install it, and who lives above the sculptures, once remarked that the sculptor would be a millionaire if paid a mere dollar for every time it was photographed!) Also “Arched Back Bather” at Manly, on the rock above the beach for several years and then sold to the Manly Pacific Hotel. “Kata Tjuta Earth Ancestors” in Bancroft Sculpture Park, Roseville, “Landscape Form” Macquarie University, etc.
There are also many semi-public commissioned works in public places, like the “Naiad Fountain” Crescent Garden, Cockle Bay Wharf; “Bronze Tantra” Darling Park; “Tall Forms” Unidata Foyer, North Sydney; The UNICEF sculpture; “Tennis Form,” Foyer, Lindfield Centre; “Earth Ancestors” Gallery 460 Sculpture Park; “The Three Graces”, “Bronze Lotus Fountain” and several other sculptures at Gillian Adam’s Day Spa, “Madonna and Child” on the Façade of Brigidine Chapel, “The Holy Family” at Lindfield, the “Welcoming Madonna” in the grounds of Corpus Christi Cathedral, another Madonna and Child in the Military Chapel Puckapunyal, Victoria, “The Arched Back Bather” in the atrium of the Manly Pacific Hotel.
PRIVATE COMMISSIONS
However, the vast majority of her bronze sculptures, including several fountain complexes, are in private collections and gardens in Australia, Britain, America, Japan, Italy and Singapore.
She feels particularly inspired working with, and for clients, combining their aspirations with her own unique style. Testimony to the success of these interactions with art lovers is the fact that several collectors, having started with one of her sculptures for their home or garden, went on to acquire more, and many now have five, six or seven of her large bronzes!

STYLES:
LANDSCAPE FORMS:
Despite the wide variety of works, she has developed a distinctive voice, so that people instantly recognize her style, or range of styles. Especially the “landscape forms” and the tall semi-figurative forms.
The "Landscape Figures" are huge reclining single or double figures which echo the forms and contours of the natural landscape... The unique building up technique echoes geological layering of different colours and textures over eons. The style of these works is unique, no-one anywhere works in this style and medium.

TALL SEMI-ABSTRACT FORMS:
Another authentic "voice." Several of her public sculptures are in this style – the most popular being the “Sea Nymphs” or “Oceanides” at Manly, and there are several fountain variations of “Naiads” or Fresh Water Spirits, as well as “Dryads” or Tree spirit, all tall forms, nearly abstract, but with some engagement with the human form.
CONCEPTUAL INSTALLATIONS
At University and with her students over the years, she explored cutting edge art forms like installations, happenings, conceptual art, art provera etc. Some of her most recent work has again engaged in social/political issues and installations, which interact with social and philosophical controversies. Several installations and conceptual works explore dichotomies and interactions between opposites, and often juxtapose realistic figurative work with abstract formal pieces.


FIGURATIVE SCULPTURES
In recent years she has gravitated back towards formalism, and art which has a presence and state of being, and collectable bronzes. Some of the most popular are quite realistic figurative forms, as the trend toward re-connecting with nature, and our own humanity, gains momentum.

She has exhibited widely, both one man and group shows.
Group Shows include four Sculpture by the Sea shows. At Sculpture by the Sea in 2003 she was awarded the Art Gallery Society Prize for a site Specific installation, “Is Classicism Dead and Buried in the Sands of Time?”

Her works have been short listed for the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. For instance, an “Earth Mother” was exhibited in the Art Gallery, where both the gallery guards and the volunteer guides contacted the artist to say that “it was the most popular work in the exhibition”.
There it was seen by Professor Carrick Chambers who arranged for it to be installed in the Botanic Gardens near the Opera House.

Academically she matriculated Dux of her year, studied for a B.A. Fine Arts at Cape Town University, Post Graduate studies in Sculpture at College of Fine Art, University of N.S.W., Bronze Sculpture and Ceramics at the National Art School, Sydney, and History of Art at Cambridge University, England, with "firsts" and high distinctions for her dissertations. She is a Senior Sculpture Tutor, and taught H.S.C. Art for many years.