“It’s in those small moments that we find our revelation, our creativity, our next step”
– Monica Moore ‘Buy the Damn Dress’
Early into lockdown in New Zealand, Kate Leebody accidently knocked over her young grandson’s collection of stones that he kept at her home in Dunedin. As she was picking them up she noticed they had fallen into the shape of a person. This moment morphed into her creating daily rock pictures with captions during the nation’s 7 week lockdown from March to June 2020.
Little did she know that this would result in requests for her to publish a book.
She posted her first ‘rock art’ on FaceBook on the 5th April and thereafter daily. Her work grew in popularity and she gained an unexpected following. Each day she posted a new picture with a caption. On the final day of lockdown on June 2nd she posted a farewell daily post with the promise of guest appearances of her work.
Kate’s inspiration came from friends, family, personal experiences and situations that she and at times, the whole country, found themselves in under the conditions of our lockdown. Her two sons Joss and Shea and their families also feature throughout the book.
What was once a ‘normal’ in our daily lives had become unavailable during lockdown. Kate provided suggestions and alternatives to takeaways and birthday celebrations. She empathised with those missing out what we were accustomed to. She also emphasised the importance of family and friends in may of her works.
Reflection and Discovery
Lockdown was a time for reflection and discovery. People had to adapt to a different ‘way’ of being and priorities; what really is important in life, became very clear. People took more care of people and across the nation there was a sense of common good; doing what’s best for everyone. Neighbours kept an eye out for each other and health and wellbeing became ‘number one’ for everyone.
And amongst this there was Kate Leebody sharing her stories in rock form. Her long time friend Wendy Barron recognised that people loved Leebody’s work and decided to do something about it. She very generously sponsored the publishing of a book of Kate’s creations and another friend, Joanne Borgman did the layout and formatting, resulting in the book which is a worthy representation of Kate’s genius art.
Kate Leebody is wise, she’s smart and lives life to the full. She spent her working life in education and had a significant impact on the board of a local licensing trust and a well recognised involvement in Netball on a local, regional and national level for many years.
She never expected the response she’s had from her rock art. She developed a huge following with people looking forward to her daily posts. I was one of those people. Seeing her daily rock art and clever captions was uplifting. It highlights both the power and impact of sharing creativity and of how much we really do need each other, particularly during challenging times.
Humble to the core, Kate does not accept payment for her book. With Wendy Barron’s generous contribution to publishing, they are instead requesting that people make a donation to the NZ Food Bank or Womens’ Refuge.
I’m not convinced that she is fully aware of the impact of her creativity and the inspiration that it has for others.
The result of her ‘moment’ has given joy to many with her book. It is a stunning, memorable and a creative tribute from a smart, quick witted and all round fabulous human being. Children have been inspired to see rocks in a different way as have all of us. Schools are utilising her works as means of creative inspiration and people like me are simply enjoying and in awe of what she has created.
Thank you Kate for what you gave the world during difficult times. We have the capacity to bring joy and we do not need anything more than nature and our creative thoughts. It certainly is a delicious decision to both indulge and share creativity.
What are your moments of opportunity, of creativity, of next steps?
Be mindful and aware because they are ‘there’.