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 new 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. We believe she is a rising star, whose career is one to watch closely.
Biography Copyright Kate Owen Gallery
Awards and Recognition
2020 Byron Shire Council Creative Artist of the Year
2019 Paddington Art Prize - Finalist (winner announced 17 October)
2017 Industrial Art Installation, Lismore
2017 Paddington Art Prize - Winner Young Artist Award
2016 Byron Bay Art Classic - Indigenous Prize Winner
2016 Design of the Tourism Australia logo and the Tourism Indigenous logo for Essential Aboriginal Experiences
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2019 Niah Juella, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2018 Ngudjung Ngulla (Mother Tree), Ninbella Gallery, Bangalow
Selected Group Exhibitions
2016 We don't talk, Sydney Show
2015 Other Art Fair, Sydney