Leigh Dotey’ s practice is rooted in their research into Western society’s long-standing need to create hierarchies and binaries within material worlds and the ways in which these constructs implicate bodies in space. Dotey grew up exploring and adventuring along the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto, physically engaged with the forest from an early age. They then went on to work as a tree planter moving back and forth across Canada for many years. Both of these formative experiences have shaped the way that they see and understand the land, forestry, the politics of taken land and bodies in relationship to these spaces. Dotey’s connection to materials is physical and experimental at the same time as being rooted in practicality and research.
Allowing “space” for materials, not forcing them to undergo extensive manipulation but rather letting the quality of the wood speak for itself, Dotey designs work that focuses on human interaction. As a gender nonconforming wood worker they are committed to social justice in all areas of their life and this comes through in their often interactive and transformative work.