Michelle has a featured chapter in the book A Colourful Canvas: Twelve Women Artists in the North West by Wendy J Levy and Judy Rose. Publications include Who’s Who in Art 2008, Worlds Who’s Who of Women-15th Edition (2009). She was a featured artist in So You Want to Be An Artist 2008 Wynter Video Productions for The Lowry Art Galleries and in 2015 was a finalist in the International Artist Of The Year Award at The Ben Uri Art Gallery London . In 2018 she was commissioned by Noel & Alison Copley, Patrons of The Lowry Copley Art Prize to design a necktie with an industrial landscape theme. The result was successfully auctioned in August 2018, raising funds for the 2018-19 Art Outreach programme . Her paintings have been sold and included at Capes Dunn Specialised Northern Art Auctions & Mallams Fine Art, Oxford.
Her work evokes an experience associated with place rather than literal representation, inspired by places as far afield as Prague and North Manchester. Her work is at its core rooted in the everyday with subjects ranging from deserted bandstands to sea fronts and backstreets against which every day life is enacted. She uses oil paint, watercolour, etching, wood & linocuts to explore the world around her. Sketchbooks act as aide-memoire, when in the studio pruning back memory to the essential parts of information.
Selected reviews span the years from Leigh’s first solo show in Cumbria whilst yet still a Postgraduate student at Newcastle University, to recent commendations from current Art Collectors of her work.
‘When Michelle Leigh is at her best there is little indulgence in her imagination. The construction is direct, built in spontaneous drawing; the best of these paintings are saturated with vigorously overlaid paint giving them the myopic sensuality and the intense immediacy of dreams. She is a final year M.A. student at Newcastle University. She shows exceptional talent.’ Arts Review
‘Human drama ….is captured in brushwork that is vibrant,controlled and confident. Larger paintings smoulder with small scale intensity’ Mike Butler Arts & Music Writer
‘Michelle Leigh’s work has been exhibited nationally & internationally, making a notable contribution to the presence and standing of the North West artistic community. I have been following her work for over twenty years. Personally, I have always found her work inspirational and in my very different practice, as a choreographer and film maker, I have found her exhibitions influential, often signalling new solutions or imagery’ June Gersten Roberts, Director, Lecturer Edge Hill University, Lancashire
‘Moments in a day often by the sea or water. A lone figure lost in reverie, groups of women at various stages of their lives. The figures sometimes standing awkwardly, but are always life affirming. Each painting is a moment in a longer narrative. Wanting to know more we are forced to use our imagination, and we remember similar moments witnessed or experienced. These are nostalgic paintings, but never sentimental, hewn from the paint in gashes of colour, they remain freshly present yet reminiscent at the same time.’ Robin Neville, Art Dealer/Collector.
See the link in http://www.michelleleighart.com/archive/link to read the pdf featured chapter of Michelle Leigh in Twelve Women Artists in the Northwest, A Colourful Canvas by Wendy J Levy & Judy Rose.
Michelle is also on LinkedIn Networking Service as Independent Arts & Crafts Professional UK.