From MTG: Actress Leanne Morrison tells the story behind the painting

Jazmine and Costa Hammond admire Leanne Morrison’s Breaking the Frame. Photo / Provided.

At over 10m long and over 3m tall my new work Breaking the Frame at MTG Hawke’s Bay is literally just that!

I removed the wooden stretcher bars framed in my traditional painting, the painted diagonal shapes that both subject and content sat directly on the wall space in the foyer.

For only the second time in my career, I’ve worked to scale beyond the limits of frame and canvas, but how will that change the way painting works or looks?

Will viewers interact more or less? What does this mean for the way I currently work? Part of the reason I undertake projects outside of the standard rules of my practice is the constant questioning of why, what, and how.

But back in the beginning, before I was assigned to do Breaking the Frame for MTG, I started to investigate and research the history of the building. It soon became clear to me that this was less about history and more to do with the physical construction of the building and the purpose and function of the foyer in which the work would be placed.

After a few rounds, I thought first, I want to create a work that is free of physical limitations, something that follows the lines of the internal structure of the foyer and becomes a temporary “part” of the building.

And second, to somehow pay attention to the foyer space in a new way and what it can mean to people who use it daily, weekly, monthly, or occasionally, workers, visitors both locally and international. Is it possible to make something invisible visible?

In Samoan culture there is the idea of ​​“le va”, a space where things happen, not seen, it is a space where we interact every day, people, things, environment etc. Another Samoan saying that expands this idea of ​​va or space is “La teu le va”, which is mostly translated into English means to respect and value all relationships.

It makes quite sense that as we attend in a positive way in those relationships, we in turn will receive great results, more self -respect and respect for others including and above all our environment.

Especially relevant today when so much of our interactions are happening online, through our phones and computers and social media, we need to ask ourselves, are we starting to lose touch with each other?

Consisting of five interacting diagonal shapes in different colors of semi/gloss black to flat gray and extending the length of the wall, each shape extends up to the wall limit.

Each form is formed by placing thin layers of paint and in turn, it creates a shallow depth on the surface of the wall. The forms intersect with each other at different points and create new textures and deeper, they create a new space.

Sloping at different levels the forms reflect the dynamic nature of space, with the constant collapse and flow of people moving around and in space.

Poisoned “above” the forms are three parallelograms in a bright orange shade, they are opaque and appear stationary within a dynamic space. The distance between these orange shapes varies, the two are almost contiguous and one is slightly higher, sit alone, the size also varies, as if there is a hierarchy or relationship between of forms.

The whole rejects the easy reading of anything resembling sea, sky, earth and instead points to a time, not past not future but now.

Going back to the beginning of this project, this work is not about history or even the future, it is definitely about the present.

Today is that moment of understanding when walking into the foyer that you encounter work and in that brief moment in time that you become part of the work, you can see the connection between you and the work and others around you.

Leanne Morrison is an actress.