Close up of Leeroy New's installation The Arks of Gimokudan in the courtyard at Somerset House. It shows one of the sculptures, made up of reused plastic to look like a creature with arms, lit up by ambient lighting of pink, red and purple.

Leeroy New: Vessels of Transformation

19 Apr 2022

Leeroy New is an artist based in the Philippines, whose practice overlaps and intersects with film, theatre, product design, and fashion. We visited Leeroy in the workshop as he put the finishing touches to his work The Arks of Gimokudan, a major new commission by Somerset House to mark Earth Day 2022. 

Leeroy New moulds and manipulates plastics and waste materials by hand, transforming waste into new forms that are mesmerising and beautiful. Addressing the often problematic life cycle of everyday objects, his works confront audiences with the scale of single use plastic waste impacting the UK and the globe on a daily basis.

In creating his work for Somerset House, New draws upon the history, culture and mythologies of his home nation, the Philippines, the country most at risk from the climate crisis according to a report published in 2019 by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Through his work, New reimagines and creates alternative, positive futures for himself, his peers and community.


Produced by Rob Akin, as part of the Creators in Residence Programme, supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

The Arks of Gimokudan by Leeroy New is commissioned with support from Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, with funding from Westminster City Council and additional support from Mercedes U. Zobel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the British Council.