Back in the 1980s, Marley McLeay had a special interest in drawing, inspired by science fiction television programmes and a special artist he knew at primary school who won his heart with his drawings. He went on to gain a graduate Diploma of Visual Art and Design from the Eastern Institute of Technology, in 2002, and a graduate Diploma in Graphics and Multimedia, from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, in 2012.
“My art has always been to the fore of my interests over anything else. Whether I had a career or not, my primary focus was to be as good as the artists that inspired me over my life.” With a strong drive to improve his technique, he is at a point of understanding that a nice relaxed doodle can hold as much meaning as a technically proficient artwork. “I simply have not had a life that is conducive to being a standard factory worker – although I have held such jobs. I need to feel fulfilled in my work and connecting with my creativity is certainly advantageous.” Film and music is hugely influential for him. The ‘Star Trek’s series’ incredible visual design, the ship designs seen in the series, won his heart very quickly. The early films such as ‘The Motion Picture’ and ‘The Wrath of Khan’ have extraordinary sound design for the era; the music and the sound mixing is unique, in his opinion. “My mind articulates in both movies and music how things are presented sonically. I love sound that can stimulate the imagination.” He loves listening to electronic music artists like Bjork, Burial and Zomby, enjoying their fascinating sound fields. He also enjoys the likes of Enya, Van Morrison, Clannad, Burial, Boards of Canada, Faithless, Leftfield, VVV and anything that can stir a dream-like world. “They all win my heart when it comes to painting!” Marley’s influences include HR Giger, a Swiss surrealist artist responsible for the unusual xenomorph design seen in the movie ‘Alien’, 1979. “His technique was mind boggling, such an ethereal beauty to his works with fine detail. He had an original voice with his creations.”