confessions, 2023
at lismore castles arts, Lismore

Curated by Rosa Abbott, with works by Austin Hearne, David Leal and M Lissoni


Palmatórias (2023)

Digital prints on aluminium
Dimensions variable

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood, you have no life in you, (2023)

Gym bench, prefilled communion cups, wafers, candles, incense
Dimensions variable

Convoluted (Artificial Sorry > Church Intelligence) (2023)

Video, 5m

Installation shots: Jed Niezgoda

MEANS, 2023
at bermondsey project space, London

Curated by Christopher Bond


Constellation of Care (2023)

Gifted latex gloves, photographic paper and eye screws on wall
Dimensions variable

This installation is made of pairs of gloves, each offered by a different establishment, from pubs to tattoo shops to hospitals. Hung by eye screws, and resembling stars, they surround a photographic paper developed naturally by our closest star, the sun, with an oil paint fingerprint which contains its own constellation.

Thanks to all these places who cared to give me a pair.

EStudo do meio (18+), 2023
at carpintarias de são lázaro, Lisbon

With Purga


Red Halos (2023)

An installation of two iPhones on two ring light mobile supports. Playing on one is The Line The Light The Movement The Hand The End (2022), a film I made with footage from a porn show I recorded in one of my last shifts at Union, Vauxhall. Playing on the other is a screen recording of my phone glitching when I searched for a painting I couldn’t stop thinking about while recording the footage in Union.

Piano (Tríptico) (2023)

Video, 4m

Anjo (2015)

Oil on canvas

Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival, 2022
at Second Home, London

With Ridley Road Project Space


Mourning framing Pleasure (2022)

Memorial flags for Queen Elizabeth with images captured inside the gay sauna Pleasuredrome, when the venue decided on the day of the Queen’s funeral to screen the event on their tv’s and offer drinks to the visitors.

Staying Alive, 2022
at Duplex AIR, Lisbon

Curated by Francisca Portugal


BEG 1, BEG 2, and BEG3 (2022)

Digital print in domestic printer on plastic bags

A customer's monologue (working in a sexshop, soho 2017) (2020)

Audio work 7:30m

at Ridley Road Project Space

Curators: Prem SahibGeorge Henry-Longley, Laurie Barron and Joe Bobowicz


Contact lens cases from Pleasuredrome sauna’s bin (2019)

Contact lens cases and screws on plastic and perspex

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, 2021
at FirstSite Museum, Colchester and South London Gallery, London


You are a letter, written not with ink, but with the Spirit, 2019

Film, 4m

Michelle, a trans woman who started transitioning later in her life, finds in faith the strength to welcome her true self.

Installation shots 1 & 2: Richard Ivey
Installation shot 3: Andy Stagg

at ArtSect Gallery, London


Exclamatory, 2021   

Digital print on paper, candles, chainsaw chains, slides,
toilet fresheners, silicone sex torso, acrylic, mirrored chest of
drawers, iPad, eye examinations
Installation: Dimensions variable

Press release

Entre o Real e a Imagem, 2021
at Casa do Capitão, Lisbon

Curated by CINENOVA


Rest Oration (El Greco), 2020

Video, 8m

Rest Oration (El Greco) imagines a fictitious restoration of a painting while giving it a life of its own. Produced during the pandemic period, while museums are closed to the public, the film suggests a time for broader restoration.

Part of the project Speaking in Tongues 2020, a performance-based project devised by Fine Art students of Central Saint Martins developed in a partnership with The National Gallery, London’s Learning & National Programmes.

Installation shots: CineNova Festival

at Casa do Capitão, Lisbon

Curatored by Nicolai Sarbib e David Revés 


FILTERS (or, Sigils, Ichthus, and their liminal smoke), 2021

Film, 17m
16mm and digital

A film about filters. In the literal way, referring to cigarette filters and their packaging, and in the metaphorical way, addressing individual’s subjectivities and filtered truths. With this in mind, the film leads us into a hypnotic experience that takes our senses to the position of subjects, part of the cast, dancing in slow motion, a waltz with these signs.

Installation shots: Photodocumenta

I Will Take The Risk, 2020
at AZAN Space, Lisbon

part of Lisbon Art Weekend

Curatored by Tomaz Hipólito 


Perpetual Explosion, 2020

Video, 4m

Perpetual Explosion observes the actions involved with closing a shift at working in a petrol station and offers a new and final act that threatens the understanding of the event -- the act leads us to reflect on economies of value.
What would happen if the chain is broken? Is the small act of rupturing everyday ritual(s) of consumption/production in itself an act of exorcism, insurgence?

Installation shots: Paulo Dinis

CSM Open studios, 2019
at Central Saint Martins, London


Preyer, 2019  

Fisting dildo and eye examination slides on a light pad
80 x 50 x 40cm

An urge to cross two symbols — the interior of vision(s) and its nerves, and the praying hand of fetish  — and laying them in the same examination layer. The light pad gives life to the images taken through the holes in the eyes, when pupils are stretched. The light pad also gives the illusion that the hole-stretching hands are levitating from the brightness.

At being positioned on the floor, where the sex toy would probably be, I call the viewers to put their faces closer to the floor and their eyes down, in a similar position to praying, or playing… To examine ideas of stretch.

Come Together: Tate Exchange, 2019
at TATE Modern, London


CareFull, 2015

Video, 3m
A Dance between a fly and an eye, conversing through spasmic codes.

ProGlide, 2014

Video, 4m
A Dance between blades, using the throat’s interior and exterior as its stage.

at central saint martins, london


Choir (2018)

Dimensions variable

Wonky Donky, 2018
at Camberwell College of Arts, London


Lens, Chalice, Censer, 2018

Contact lenses, needles, eye examinations and candles on acrylic display supports.
Installation, Dimensions variable.

Crypt O’ Night, 2017
at Saint Giles Church, London


,(O)´ , 2017

Metal nails on fluorescent light
45 x 15 x 45 cm

© David Leal