Andy Leleisi’uao’s newest suite of paintings, Waking Up To The Oculus People, continues his exploration of self-created worlds which act as a metaphor for day to day existence. The societies he creates share common activities and situations, inviting comparisons with our own experience of the everyday.
The fluidity of Leleisi’uao’s visual language is such that the eye easily moves across and between the layers, taking in his single ‘snapshot’ of activity. Separated into strata of different size and colour, the strong horizontals invite reading from left to right, and top to bottom, as with the [Western] written word. Like single pages from the same book, each painting represents a moment in time, but simultaneously suggests that it sits within a larger continuum. Leleisi’uao’s busy creatures appear to have a past and a future beyond the picture plane.
The scale of the Oscillate People series is a new addition to this particular style of Leleisi’uao’s works; whereas his 2010 Pa’ceania series featured canvases of the same size, each contained nine strictly defined levels, a uniformity of scale and an impression of constrained energy. In the Oscillate People’s worlds, Leleisi’uao has provided additional room for the inhabitants. The busy ‘hive mind’ is still very much in evidence but the large beings have become individuals rather than one of many and they go about their business with calm consideration.
Leleisi’uao has also expanded the language of motifs he employs as points of reference throughout his practice. As well as the silhouetted hands and facial profiles seen in previous bodies of work, symbols of the everyday have been incorporated into these new paintings. As viewers spot a giant peg, or a Batman sign, the small jolts of recognition they experience emphasises the sense of common humanity that underlies Leleisi’uao’s creations.