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Gerda Leenards was born in Nijmegen, Holland in 1946 andimmigrated to New Zealand in 1956, where she studied under RudiGopas, Doris Lusk and Bill Sutton at the Canterbury School of Art.
Expressionist in nature, Leenards works are atmospheric, evocative impressions of the environment, full of portent, movementand a dramatic tension between light and dark. Leenards makes striking use of shape and colour to emphasise the power of theland: simple strips of land, sea and sky are suffused with thereductive tones of an earthy palette and highlighted with a penchant for metallic gold that further emboldens the majesty and power of her subject. Leenards' deep interest in the expression of the 'inner qualities' of the landstems as much from her sense of the sublime in the landscape as itdoes from her concern with the cycle of its occupation, violationand reclamation by human hands. Much of her work is based on the landscape of Moa Point (site of a raw sewerage outlet near her homein Wellington) and on a painterly sojourn to her homeland ofHolland in 1992, Leenards produced a series of works based on the'golden haze of pollution' as seen from her studio.