Born: Nowra, NSW
With artist Kathrin Sharp as her mother and Aboriginal activist, poet, healer, musician and Yuin Elder Bobby McLeod as her father, it is no surprise that Niah Juella McLeod is an exciting voice in the contemporary Indigenous art scene.
Growing up drawing and painting, but only deciding to exhibit her work from 2015, Niah already has an impressive list of awards and acknowledgements to her name. After being selected for the 2015 Other Art Fair in Sydney - which showcases independent and emerging artists handpicked by a committee of art world experts - Niah's art career rapidly gained momentum, being commissioned by Tourism Australia to design an Indigenous logo in 2016 and winning the Young Artist Award at the 2017 Paddington Art Prize.
Niah is a descendant from the Monero, Wandandian and Yuin people from south eastern Australia and her works tell of stories passed down from her parents which are unique to her history. Niah's painting practice began as a form of meditation, and this background is evident today in her exceptionally fine artworks that lead viewers on a meditative process through the intricate details.
In describing her art, Niah explains "They are a way for me to connect, it's my belonging and my journey... I was once asked if I could describe my paintings to the visually impaired what would I say ... I think that it looks like movement but feels still... that still resonates with me".
Niah's first solo show in 2018 was a sell-out success and her art continues to capture the imagination of the art loving public and aficionados alike.
Biography Copyright Kate Owen Gallery November 2022