Niamh Leadbetter is a Bray based artist, working with the mediums of acrylic, oil paint, pastel, spray paint and markers. Her paintings often incorporate words and symbolic imagery, combining abstraction with narrative elements. Currently she is exploring the experience of inner dialogues that may involve intrusive thoughts, trauma or insecurities. The structure and presentation of her work is influenced by her use of journaling, which provides a space for ranting to release inner pain. Her previous group exhibitions include the IADT student shows New Translations (Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2019), Propositions (IADT Campus, 2022).
My project focuses on the practice of journaling, as a process of dealing with your own inner dialogue and managing intrusive thoughts. I am interested in the idea of a journal as a way to rant onto a piece of paper, to express what has been bothering you and give it a visual form. Within this broad topic I allow myself to focus on different issues in each painting. Some of my paintings explore the concept of going through a toxic relationship breakup and then reliving this relationship. Another piece focuses on insecurities and how you can stop yourself from achieving things because of self-doubt. These paintings create beautiful painful imagery from human experiences. They are a way for others to feel seen and connect with the emotions on the canvas. To be able to look at a work and think to yourself “I get this, I understand this, I’ve felt this before. I’m not alone.”