Fran Leitch 

The Old Tarts Brigade | 4 – 24 nov

Opening on Saturday 4 November:

Fran at home working on her exquisite new series of drawings.

Artist Statement :

What do old tarts do the best? Gossip, and if there is nothing good to gossip about, making up stories is a far better way to amuse one’s self and friends. This type of gossip forms advantageous alliances that they hope will provide some stability to their own lives, to show their social hierarchy, and to ideally have the upper hand. However, gossip is inevitable and blameless – the problem lies instead in its content, which reflects precisely what is going on in people’s minds through these processes. The nasty little white lies generated by such gossip never die, they grow and linger long after the instigator has passed away; it creates a residual presence of continuous social decay.

To be good at malicious gossip requires a high degree of subtlety and skill which comes with practice and time. It seems that the trick is to appear to be sympathetic to the victim while holding them below the waterline with implicit denigration.

In the world of gossip, self-deception often takes the form of genuinely believing one is on the high moral ground of charitable sympathy, while looking down on one’s slowly sinking victim drowning in their own stomach-churning anger, shame, frustration, fear and resentment, all of which feeds stress like a carcass feeds maggots. The old tarts brigades perform this social act so very well.

Simply assume that anything you say can and will be used against you when they are around, as these old tarts are everywhere!

Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be bleeding obvious to those who know them!

No actual tarts were harmed in the making of these works of art.

Some details from some jewellery pieces in this new exhibition.

Details from some of the eight new works on paper :

Also introducing limited edition digital photography by

Mark Russell


If there is a new moon and clear skies, you will likely find Mark out in the early hours of the morning, setting up a long exposure on his camera, clad in a beanie, scarf, jacket, gloves and head torch.

For countless millennia we have been drawn to the stars, their place in the night sky revealing our place in the universe.  With modern advancements in camera technology, this cosmic backdrop reveals itself in glorious detail.   

Mark has spent significant time on Great Barrier Island – which in August 2017 became only the 3rd Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world.  A Dark Sky Sanctuary not only hosts the darkest possible skies, but is legally protected for future generations from light pollution.  

Mark’s photos were used to support this application for Sanctuary status, and have since been published internationally in the Lonely Planet, the Telegraph, numerous Travel Magazines, and are  feature photographs in the official Great Barrier Island ‘Sanctuary’ Book.

The collection on display here contains Mark’s most recent work – taken August/September 2017.  Whereas many of his earlier images are synonymous with colour, this selection explores the Darkness inherent and physically experienced when looking at the Night Sky with the naked eye. 

Mark’s photos all have exposures between 20 and 30 seconds long –  enough time to collect light too dim for our own naked eyes to see.  The endless movement of the night sky, and Great Barrier Island’s unique geography, give limitless compositional opportunities; changing with the tides, the night, and the seasons.

Mark left the corporate world in 2011, giving up a job as a commercial lawyer to focus on capturing life through a camera.  Mark and his wife Sophi run The Renegade Peach Project – which focuses on both photography and videography and works extensively in the NZ music scene.  You can view their work at


Some of Mark’s framed images:

SANCTUARY  Aotea/Great Barrier Island International Dark Sky Sanctuary book ISBN 978-0-473-40243-3 is available to order  on line :                                      All proceeds go to the go to the Great Barrier Charitable Trust Fund.



Next Exhibition :


Dec 2 – Jan 28

 Currently in the Stockroom:

Laurence Aberhart, Richard Adams, Minhal Al Halabi, David Barker, Alex Caminiti, Fran Leitch, Edward MacKenzie, Michelle Mayn, Scott McFarlane, Kate du Plooy, Julia Reinholt, Raewyn Smith, Bill Sellers, Daniel Unverricht,


Our video of the ANZAC exhibition at Kaan Zamaan  ,2015 .

photo 1

Call 021 1634478 to view by appointment outside gallery  hours.

For framing consultations, SHARP FRAMES is open Tuesday – Friday 9am – 5pm.


Our fundraiser last year  “WE CARE” .

The total amount raised so far is just over $12 780 !  The money was passed on to Kia Ora Gaza, to help with medical supplies for Gaza. THANK YOU everyone for your generosity, it was an AMAZING effort, let’s hope we bring just a little relief to some of these desperate children’s lives. Some $300 also went to Save The Children.

A view of the opening night, thank you Sophi Reinholt for the video.