Nelson Suter Art Society

to promote and encourage the cultivation and production of work in the visual arts

Erica Leather

From ice crystals forming on the lid of the bin as I put the recycling out, the pattern on the inside of paint tray when its peeled away or the marks caused by dripping water left on a hot water cylinder, I am constantly searching for beauty in the ordinary and mundane. I’m often known to be caught photographing the random detail on an old signpost at a local beauty spot with a stunning landscape behind me! (I'll still take a picture of the view too, but they are rarely the images that end up in a frame.)


I see the world through a macro lens as I know there is so much inspiration to be found in the most unlikely places. My love of colour and texture comes through in my photography often bringing a vibrancy to my work that can be really striking when enlarged and displayed on the gallery wall. I have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. As a shy child and young adult I found comfort and solace behind the camera rather than in the thick of the action. I have also always loved looking at old photographs and first learnt to develop my own during my boarding school days in North Wales. Many hours were spent in the comforting red glow of the darkroom and it was the only subject apart from art that I was all that interested in. My distinctive style which is mostly abstract or highly textured details has developed over the years, starting out somewhere in the grungy backstreet of Bolton in the North of England, often oblivious to the curious looks I was getting as to why I was squatting down photographing a rusty old car.


I studied Photography in Nottingham, England for 3 years but found that I always struggled with having a brief, and often found myself completely at a loss at what to take pictures of when it was for a specific project. As I've got older I realise that my inspiration comes from what I see around me, and I never know when that inspiration is going to be triggered. For a while after uni I found myself quite uninspired creatively and it was only after leaving the UK that I naturally started taking photos again.


I spent time in Thailand, Australia and Fiji before deciding that New Zealand was the place I wanted to settle. I have now been here for 15yrs, and after several years in Wanaka working as a painter and decorator (another job where perfectionism and attention to detail is crucial) I moved to Nelson at the top of the South Island 7years ago.


I spent several years working for a picture framer in Tasman, now I operate my own framing studio in Nelson offering a custom framing service, alongside selling my photographs through my website.