Leah Gordon (born 1959 Ellesmere Port) is a photographer, film-maker, curator, collector and writer. In the 1980’s she wrote lyrics, sang and played for the feminist folk punk band, ‘The Doonicans’. Leah makes work on Modernism and architecture; the slave trade and industrialisation; and grassroots religious, class and folk histories. Gordon’s film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale; the National Portrait Gallery, UK and the Norton Museum of Art, Florida. Her photography book ‘Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti’ was published in June 2010. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was the co-curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, History & Art’ at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; on the curatorial team for ‘In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st Century Haitian Art’ at the Fowler Museum, UCLA and was the co-curator of ‘PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince’ at Pioneer Works, NYC in 2018 and MOCA, Miami in 2019. In 2015 Leah Gordon was the recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean.
Leah is working in Shropshire and is researching land ownership and histories to gain a deeper
understanding of the enclosures act, the impact of the industrial revolution and in parallel the
American and Caribbean plantation system. This historical past is vital to having a critical
understanding of the systems and politics of now. A multi-media project which will use constructed
portraiture and the landscape with an imaginative use of archives and the poetry of John Clare to
intertwine the traces of history, Empire and land use and ownership today. The portraits will be
inspired by John Thomas Smith’s 18 th century book illustrations. During the project local myths,
legends and oral histories will be collected. The final instalment will create a reflection on the state of
the land, its institutionalisation, modernity and discontent.
Image Credit: Vagabondaj Mawon: Sitadel, 2019, by Leah Gordon.