Gal Leshem has a socially engaged artistic practice which encompasses both studio based work and collaborative, educational projects and workshops for varied groups of people. She works across textiles, print, ceramics and video to explore the role of local folklore and material culture in the creation of identity, belonging and orientation. Her projects are developed through a site specific and research-based approach, often engaging with heritage sites, objects and plants in order to explore the influence of these on the cultural identification of particular communities. Her recent works trace the histories of dye plants as a way of addressing notions of migration, nationality and appropriation in its material form. The work reveals the antagonistic relation between the nomadic quality of culture and identity through the migration of people and objects, and territorialised modes of belonging upheld by the nation state.
During her residency at Gasworks, Leshem has experimented with new dyes from plants foraged around the city, as well as conducting research into land rights, commons and the folklore of plants native to both the UK and Israel/Palestine.
Photos of Gal Leshem's studio
Images from Gal Leshem's research
Gal Leshem lives and works in London. She gained a BA in Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths University and an MA from the Slade School of Art. Recent exhibitions and projects include: Thought Threads, San Mei Gallery, London; Visions at the Nunnery, Bow Arts, London (both 2020); Parade , Broadway Gallery, Letchworth; Jerusalem Film Festival (screening), Jerusalem; Tel Aviv; CCA Video Greenhouse, Fresh Paint Fair, Tel Aviv; Now You See It, Now You Don’t, Wesserhale, Berlin; The Subversive Stitch, TJ Boulting, London (all 2019); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Block 336, London; Bodily Encounters, APT gallery, London; Barbican’s Change Makers, Valance house, London; 70 Degel, Bet - Elians, Jerusalem; and Water Tower Art Fest, Myasto 167, Sofia (all 2018). In 2017 Leshem was artist in residence at Tate Modern and Tate Britain School Workshop Programme. In 2017-18 she was part of Up Projects' Constellations, a research and development programme for artists working in community contexts.
Gasworks Studio Residencies are a response to outbreak of Covid-19, which has caused the postponement of our international residency programme. Until the programme can resume, the residency studios have been made available to London-based artists and writers who do not have access to their own dedicated workspace.