Sonia Leber and David Chesworth are known for their distinctive video, sound and architecture-based installations that are audible as much as visible. Leber and Chesworth’s works are speculative and archaeological, often involving communities and elaborated from research in places undergoing social, technological or local geological transformation. Their works emerge from the real but exist significantly in the realm of the imaginary, hinting at unseen forces and non-human perspectives.
Leber and Chesworth’s artworks have been shown in the central exhibitions of the 56th Venice Biennale: All The World’s Futures (2015), the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire (2014) and a parallel exhibition of the 5th Moscow Biennale (2013).
Group exhibitions include 'Who’s Afraid of Public Space?', Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2021-2); 'Freedom of Sleep', Fondation Fiminco, Paris (2021); 'The Last Reader', annex M, Megaron, Athens (2018); 'The State We Are In: Collection of Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw', Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, Poland (2018); 'And Tomorrow And', Index–The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm (2018); 'The Score', Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2017); 'Looking at me through you', Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017); 'Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art', Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2017); 'I don't want to be there when it happens', 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2017); and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2017); 'The Real and Other Places', Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, at Photo Shanghai (2017); 'This is a Voice', Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Sydney (2017); 'Borders, Barriers, Walls', Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2016); Substation Contemporary Art Prize, Melbourne (2016); 64th Blake Prize, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (2016); 'The Documentary Take', Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016); 'Melbourne Now', National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14); Gold Coast Art Prize (2014), Screengrab6 International Media Arts Award, Townsville (2014), 'Cooperation Territory', 16thLine Art Gallery and Makaronka Art Center, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (2013); 'Spaced: Art Out of Place', Fremantle Art Centre (2012); 'Animal/Human', UQ Art Museum, Brisbane (2012); 'Stealing the Senses', Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011); Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2011); 'In camera and in public', Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2011); 'Madrid Abierto' (2007); '+Plus Factors', Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2006); and the visual art program of Melbourne International Arts Festival (2004).
Solo exhibitions include 'Where Lakes Once Had Water', TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Australia (2022); 'Where Lakes Once Had Water', Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (2022); 'What Listening Knows', Messums Wiltshire, UK (2021); 'Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth', Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2018), touring to UNSW Galleries, Sydney (2019) and Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane (2019); 'Zaum Tractor', Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2014); and Gridchinhall, Moscow (2013); 'The Way You Move Me', Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2012); 'Space-Shifter', Detached/MONA FOMA, Hobart (2012); Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2011); and Conical, Melbourne (2009); and 'Almost Always Everywhere Apparent', Mildura Arts Centre (2008); and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2007).
Leber and Chesworth were awarded the Substation Contemporary Art Prize (2016); Gold Coast Art Prize (2014); and Screengrab International Media Arts Award (2014). They were finalists in the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2021);
Blake Prize (2016); Incinerator Art Award for Social Change (2016 & 2018); and the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2011). They have been commissioned to create site-specific works for public spaces in Australia, New Zealand, Wales, and Slovenia.
Collections include Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of Western Australia; McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery; RMIT Gallery, Melbourne; University of Wollongong Art Collection; Gold Coast City Gallery; Mildura Arts Centre; and Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
Sonia is a Senior Industry Fellow in the School of Art at RMIT University where David is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow.
The artists live and work in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia