me-2014The Restless Gallery Service Feedback


- 'Miranda has curated three exhibitions at the Yew Tree Gallery and has been a delight to work with - showing true professionalism in her work and introducing and interesting selection of artists to the gallery on both occasions. Comments from visitors to her exhibitions have underlined my own view of her inspired and dedicated attitude to whatever show she curates.'

Gilly Wyatt Smith,  September 2014


- 'Can I just say a massive thank you to the amazing Miranda Leonard from the Restless Gallery. I recently went on a month long ceramic residency to China and arranged for a pop-up exhibition curated by Miranda  to happen in my gallery in Hay-on-Wye. Miranda took responsibility for the exhibition design, invitations , advertising , private view and sales.

I have just arrived back to find the most amazing exhibition, incredible work, beautifully displayed. Miranda has a great eye and she selected some wonderful pieces across a broad spectrum of the applied arts from jewellery to furniture; papier-mâché to prints ; ceramics and  paintings. The prices are also really well spread so commercially we are looking at a very successful exhibition.

The gallery looks fresh and exciting both to me and more importantly for my customers. Like many established galleries we have regular customers and it is very important to exhibit new work. Miranda with her vast experience and many contacts has brought an exhibition to Hay that I would never have been able to curate, therefore the space has been transformed into a vibrant and colourful contemporary exhibition

Miranda has an energy and quality which fits perfectly with the concept of a pop up gallery. She worked with my gallery assistants and my customers and I have already had very positive feedback from everyone who met her.

I am delighted to have had this opportunity to travel  knowing that the gallery was in such capable and professional hands has made my experience much more focused and fulfilling. I would recommend this to any gallery owners who are looking to take a sabbatical or time out to study or research. I will certainly be considering a Restless Gallery pop up again, maybe make it an annual event.  

Simon Hulbert - Brook Street Gallery, November 2015


How it works

 Creative exhibition organisers need to get away from their galleries from time to time, to have a holiday or to get out and research new artists and exhibitions further afield . 'Restless' provides professional 'gallery respite care' by bringing in new exhibitions and artists to an established gallery and providing income in the form of a hire fee, or split commission while the curator/owner is away. Premises and works are carefully looked after and customers cared for and informed. Collection and delivery of other pieces and some additional stock can also be managed.

Obviously, this can only be arranged after thorough discussion. The selection of artists is arrived at after consultation and with the approval of the gallery owner and protection of gallery mailing lists is of paramount importance. If you would like to discuss the possibilities of this service at any point in the future, please contact me.

 Recent Restless Installations (in progress)

Experience and Previous Exhibitions

The main focus of my exhibition practice in recent years has been building on interactions with audiences. Much of this can revolve around the quality and uniqueness of the work selected or by targeting the audience through education. 'The Orchard', for example, was a touring exhibition centred around the work of artist Edwina Bridgeman, which altered as the feedback audiences relating their experiences of fruit picking and orchards passed on to the artist.
I am also aware when hanging an exhibition. This need to needs to be donein a way that is lively and stimulating for the audience, juxtaposing the works in such a way that they reference and contrast each other.


 'Birds and Bees' at Fresh Air 2013 and 'The Orchard' Touring exhibition at Glastonbury Museum and Oriel MyrddinCarmarthen

• 'Birds and the Bees' – Pop-up exhibition at Pool House – 2013

A fruitful collaboration with curator Fiona Haser, under the auspices of the Quenington Sculpture Trust. The exhibition attracted a record 14,000 visitors with sales an astounding  fourfold on previous years. The exhibition featured a wide range of makers and artists, including Edwina Bridgeman, Cleo Mussi, Simon Hulbert, Kate Lynch, Melanie Tomlinson, Abigail Brown and many, many more.


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Images from Fresh Air   Cladia Bornga 'Everything must Go' and 'Storm at Sea' by Miranda Michels


'Fresh Air 1997- 2017  

I have a long standing association with the exhibition as a selector, going back as far as 1997. In 2011 I was invited to co-curate the exhibition with Ana Bianchi. What has developed is a creative partnership with Ana as well as a warm collaboration with Lucy and David Abel Smith who own the Old Rectory and are such passionate supporters and informed collectors of contemporary sculpture. The exhibition's successful formula is based on a profound interest in new developments and a wide approach to materials, particularly glass, ceramics, wood and textiles as well as traditional materials such as bronze and stone.I continue to be a curator for the exhibition, as well as Exhibitions curator and Pool House curator

• 'Behold 1' at Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen gallery Painswick 2010

An exhibition commissioned by the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsman, this exhibition sought to compliment and create a contrast to their high quality summer exhibition and to draw in an additional audience. This exhibition was primarily painting printmaking and sculpture and featured the work of Breon O Casey, Robert Greenhalf, Mick Rooney RA, James Campbell, Jonathon Gibbs and Greg Poole,

• 'The Orchard' touring art and education exhibition, work by Edwina Bridgeman 2008-2010

Edwina Bridgeman created a magical and accessible exhibition based on myths and stories about apples and orchards and drawing on the experiences and writings of the audience to make new work for each new venue. Originally curated for Brewery Arts, it became a prime example of a fantastically successful touring exhibition with an estimated total of 31,000 people seeing the exhibition over 8 venues, masses of workshops and school visits and 925 substantial pieces of written responses from the exhibition audience – enough to make a book, as well as over 50of Edwina's works sold by the end of the exhibition.

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'Ruralicity' Touring at Gloucester Folk Museum, 'Danish Development/Northern Voice' and 'Simon Carroll' at Brewery Arts


• Deputy Director/Curator of Brewery Arts Cirencester 1995 – 2008

As a deputy director of a craft specific organisation, my role was to curate and co-curate many exhibitions that spotlighted the work of established makers like Tadek Beutlich (touring) Breon O'Casey (touring) Simon Carroll (touring) as well as creating themed exhibitions that dealt with specific issues for example, ' Danish Developments' , 'Ruralicity', 'Hitec-Lotec' and many more, including  'Peg Dollies on the Move' an exhibition that involved large sections of the community,

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 'Peg Dollies on the Move' and example of figure from the 'Artist's Section'- featuring 55 artist dollies

• 'Art as Furnishing' Interhome Birmingham Exhibition Centre 1990

This was a hundred and fifty square foot exhibition showcasing the best of contemporary art and craft and commissioned by an international textile and interiors fair.

• Director/Curator Rye Art Gallery 1985 – 95

I curated nine exhibitions per year in each of two galleries with an all-year- round audience; organising both commercial and historical exhibitions and caring for a permanent collection of Modern British art.
The exhibitions of paintings, sculpture and twentieth century crafts covered a range of historical and contemporary themes and included retrospectives of Edward Burra, Edward Bawden and Wally Cole.


Education Work

I am an experienced Art and Design Teacher, and have been teaching Design and GCSE/ A level Textiles, as recently as 2012. I feel strongly about enabling people to draw and have taught Life Drawing evening classes for many years. My knowledge of current educational requirements at primary and secondary level leaves me well-placed to empathise with teachers who are trying to develop creative programmes for their pupils in mainstream schools, in particular in schools where students struggle with emotional, physical and behavioural difficulties.

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Year 7 puppets textile and ceramic, 'Ruralicity' masterclass, training, and year 8 textile animal masks 2012

Recently, my freelance work as an Education Curator has involved providing Inset training for teachers and leading the educational team of six artists-educators at 'Fresh Air'. I work closely with the team to devise new and interesting ways to engage with students and involve them in hands-on activities no matter what their abilities might be and to organise INSET for teachers who require training and help. It is a great joy and a challenge and the 'Fresh Air' Educational Programme sparks off fabulous results from both staff and students reaching 905 students and staff through hands-on workshops throughout the 3 weeks of the exhibition.

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Students engaging in education activities at 'Fresh Air 2013' involving drama, sensory exploration and drawing