Leonard Sexton

Images From the Life of a Dancer


Dressing room – Leonard Sexton 30“x20” – From the Leather series

The Artist note
Locked in the dance forever? Possibly a dancer’s dream. Firstly, perhaps the paintings are for them, movement and experience are all the one here the dancer performs forever. The coils and changes within the paintings, make reference to the dancers emotional state while performing. It’s the presence of the dancer that’s elusive, they seem to me to be a cauldron of moving expression, with constant re-alignment they’re caught up in an ever evolving state, power and mystery?


no.1 Torn – Leonard Sexton 39.5“x27.5” – From the conservatory series

The paintings are a look at the personality of the dancer, their deep belief and involvement, the paintings make reference to the fact that they constantly question their movement, their commitment is deep. The paintings then battle to express this emotional state that drives them through a beautiful process.

The paintings are set up to champion the battle of the dancer, mental, physical and emotional.


no.4 The Act – Leonard Sexton 2×2m – From The Red Shift series

Socially they are forced to walk around in real time like the rest of us, but like all artists fight furiously not to let this social state over ride their belief and determination to dance, that’s their politic. The spirit of the dancer fights to be heard. I attempt to portray the ‘mind set’ that exists in the moment of performance. I canít or won’t show what they do, as I consider it weak, a stealing, a near grave robbing, their task. I’ll make reference to it but mainly deal with what I met, which is being in the presence of this wonderful thing, the mental and physical strength, the Dancer.

They physically do what Sťamus Heaney wrote all artist mentally always do, ‘boulders hurled through unchartered space.’

These paintings are perhaps difficult to understand, the dancer is then impossible to understand, but it is all perfectly clear when they dance.

It’s important because we know there is so much about us that we can not put words to, the dancer understands this ephemeral other need to communicate, in them it is a must, they know its importance but can only make reference to it when they dance. It is more than enough I think.

Click to view: