Since graduating from Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Arts in 1973, David McLeod has worked in sculpture from the monumental commissions to miniature carvings. During the last twenty-five years, he has taught at a tertiary level in sculpture, 3D design and jewellery, culminating in the running of the jewellery section of the School of Art in Dunedin from 1990 till his resignation in 2000 to pursue his arts practice fulltime. David graduated with an M.A. in Jewellery from Monash University in 1999. McLeod currently works with three other jewellers and designers at SHED Workspace in Dunedin New Zealand.

Box one( Green Ribbons to fasten)
' I have been gradually making myself comfortable and getting everything nice about me---- -------My house and garden are like a picture.' F.E.  Maning

My work is characterised by combinations of media and imagery to create narrative works. My master’s thesis ‘South looking East’ explored the history and potential of the Japanese narrative arts of Ojime, Netsuke, and Inro. I travelled to the subantarctic island south of New Zealand to explore notions of the souvenir. This led to further research in the use of etching, leading to the use of Japanese alloys of Shakudo and Shibuichi to provide a means of transferring images with a deep etch and background of fine metals of gold and silver. I live in St. Kilda with my wife and two children in an old villa surrounded by trees, where I pursue my other passions of growing Trilliums and Fritillaries.

Box two (Blue Ribbons to fasten)
Image of approach to Hobart Town from early map in the Hocken collection.

These three groups of commemorative brooches seek to express the some of the changes, and contradictions of F.E. Maning’s life in the colonies. The work explores aspects of the Maning family’s migration from Ireland to Hobart in 1824, and the subsequent move to the Hokianga in New Zealand in 1931 of their son Frederick Edward Maning. The first group refers to the localities he lived in—Jhonsonville in Dublin County Ireland, Bruney Island and Hobart Town, and Onoke in the Hokianga in NZ. The second group relates to a letter sent to his brothers in 1845, when he spoke of a shipment of native plants from the Hokianga that he was sending to family and friends in Hobart. The third group relates to the contrast between the idealism that motivated the shifts in his life with the reality of the situations he encountered. The works use a range of materials from Pounamu (N.Z. Nephrite) Pakohe (N.Z. Argillite), etched Shakudo and Shibuichi, and repousséed and pierced metals.

Box three (Red Ribbons to fasten)
s"-----that the laws of England were requisite to restrain and protect British subjects, but to British subjects alone should they be applicable ."
F.E. Maning

The collections and the services of the Hocken Library in Dunedin and the Tasmanian State Library have been invaluable in the research for these works.


David McLeod 2002