Leah Oates, Transitory Space, Beijing, China, color photography, 2008-09

Artist Statement

Of human life time is a point, and the substance is in flux…and what belongs to the soul is dream and vapor….
Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations

The work I create first originates as a response to overlooked space that is in a continual state of change. I believe that in everyone there is a sense of flux and a familiarity with this type of space physically and emotionally.

These images are not manipulated on the computer but are multiple exposures onto one negative at a specific location. In this way each image captures a state of flux within a moment and location which has actually transpired.

Transitory spaces have a messy human energy which is always in the present yet constantly changing. I find them endlessly interesting, alive places where there is a great deal of beauty and fragility. They are temporary monuments to the ephemeral nature of human existence in a constant state of change.

Artist Bio

Oates has a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Oates currently resides and works in Brooklyn, NY. Oates has had solo shows at venues including Real Art Ways, A4L Gallery, A Taste of Art Gallery, Sara Nightingale Gallery and the Sol Mednick Gallery at the Philadelphia University of the Arts.

In 2009, work by Oates will be featured in the Aqua Art Fair in Miami and in a group show at Randall Scott Gallery in Brooklyn. Her work will be featured in the Tampa Review and Diffusion Magazine in late 2009. In addition, Oates was part of group shows at Michael Mazzeo Gallery, Collective Gallery 173-171, The Pool Art Fair and The Bridge Art Fair in NYC and C. Emerson Fine Arts in Florida.  In 2009-2010, Oates has solo shows at Tomasulo Gallery in New Jersey, the Center for Book Arts in New York City and a two person show at Mad Art Space in Missouri.  In February 2009, Oates’s work was included in “Trouble in Paradise”  curated by Julie Sasse at Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona which includes work by Mitch Epstein, Kim Keever, Richard Misrach, Edward Burtynsky and Thomas Ruff. In 2008-09, her work was reviewed in NY Arts Magazine, The Riverdale Press, St. Petersburg Times and Art Squeeze.

Oates has been in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Flux Factory, Wave Hill, International Print Center, Storefront for Art, Proteus Gowanus, Nurture Art Gallery, Elizabeth Heskin Contemporary, Gallery Aferro, Metaphor Contemporary Art and The Center for Book Arts and internationally at the Royal Scottish Academy & Open Eye Gallery in Scotland, Open Studio Gallery and Spin Gallery in Toronto, Galerie Joella and Turku City Art Museum in Finland, Swinton Art Centre and University of Northampton Art Gallery in England  at as part of NEME and National Centres of Contemporary Art in Russia and Cyprus.

Work by Oates was recently featured in American publications the Daily Constitutional, Zingology Online Arts Magazine, Studio Views Magazine and The Drain Journal of Contemporary Arts Magazine and in Lirvraison Rhinoceros from Belgium and Front Magazine from Toronto. Oates’s work has been mentioned in The Village Voice, Umbrella Magazine, NY Arts Magazine,The Southampton Press and the Chicago Reader.

In 2008, Oates photographed in Newfoundland, Canada and in Beijing, China. Oates has attended residencies at the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, the Caldera Foundation in Oregon, and The Taipei Arts Village in Taiwan. She is the recipient of several awards including a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Scotland,  two Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Grants, an honorable mention for Hey Hot Shot from Jen Bekman Gallery and an Artists  Grant from Artist Space in NYC.

Oates’s work is in the private collections of Julianne Moore, Ruben Natal, Susan Bode-Tyson, Bill Groom, Laurence Asseraf,  Natalie Domchencho  and Mark Waskow and her works on paper are in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The British Library, The Walker Art Center Libraries, The Smithsonian Libraries and the Franklin Furnace.