Scrapyard Saints – Wellington

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Zero-waste art depicts unsung heroes

Oil painter David Le Fleming, recently returned to Wellington after 15 years painting in London’s Hackney Wick, wants to draw our attention to everyday people who hold communities together and often go unrecognised.

Using reclaimed surfaces like car bonnets, waste packaging and filing cabinet shelves, Le Fleming has painted large-scale, detailed portraits, including people known to the artist who he considers to be stand up humans.

The title piece, Polycycle Sigil, a bicapitated (two-headed) lion painted on a 1958-61 Singer Gazelle bonnet, draws on Le Fleming’s interest in heraldry to make a coat of arms for unsung heroes. By applying the visual language of privilege to a mundane surface, he points to the ease with which a society can consider itself meritocratic while celebrating a restricted social class.

As a closing event to the exhibition, an open invitation was extended to local musicians to join in an evening of improvised music.

Scrapyard Saints – Opening night video by Taylor at Atmos Film