LEAH NADEAU'S COLLECTION, "ORGANIZED CHAOS," IS A SELECTION OF ARTWORKS, THAT COME TOGETHER TO NARRATE A UNIQUE CHAPTER FROM HER PAST THAT PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED HER. EACH PAINTING SERVES AS A KEEPSAKE, PRESERVING THE ESSENCE OF THAT HISTORICAL MOMENT.
FOR NADEAU, ART IS A PROFOUNDLY MEANINGFUL AND TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCE IN WHICH THE CANVAS BECOMES A REALM FOR HEALING, TRANSFORMATION, AND SELF-DISCOVERY—A REALITY UNIQUELY ALTERED BY HER CREATIVE EXPRESSION.
- LEAH NADEAU
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Leah Nadeau is a Seattle-based contemporary abstract artist known for her use of geometric compositions, bold color stories, and signature linework. She creates a unique rhythm between chroma and contrast as she paints, lending every painting an immediate sense of vitality. Her skills for discernment and visual memory have become finely tuned through years of travel, sketching, painting, and ideating, all of which became the foundations for her art career.
She began incorporating industry, architecture, and design into her work as a commentary on the societal imagery we consume both consciously and unconsciously. Her post-graduate education in film strengthened her ability to view the world from the outside in. Nadeau’s art is heavily influenced by the German Expressionist Movement in cinema, Rondocubism, and Gothic-style architecture. Her innovative techniques capture the frenetic feel of cityscapes in time gone by, the stasis of aerial landscapes over Europe and the United States, and the essence of the Mid-Century Modern Era.
Since the beginning of her art practice, she has been featured in both national and international juried exhibitions and four solo shows. Her paintings are on permanent display at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. In 2021, Nadeau was commissioned by the city of Grosse Pointe, Michigan to participate in a public works installation now permanently featured on sidewalks in the heart of the city.
In a world that often favors the predictable, Nadeau strives to be a refreshing reminder of life lived with distinction. She is passionate about raising the voices of those who remain silent and standing up for the vulnerable as a result of her own experiences of facing stigma around mental health and chronic pain when growing up. You can find her in Washington relaxing with a cold brew coffee and her rescue dog, Gus.
"My artistic journey reflects upon personal struggles with mental health and the experiences of living with chronic pain, which has profoundly impacted two significant areas of my life.
In my late 20s, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a disorder that causes extreme muscle pain due to a lack of collagen in ligaments and connective tissue, affecting my entire body. Additionally, in 2019, I began to suffer from oral lichen planus, which causes daily mouth pain, consuming my every moment.
As a result of both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I have a busy inner world and strong fears that I can get stuck ruminating on. My creativity and art enable me to shift my focus and dive into an altered reality where I function without boundaries despite my condition.
Growing up, I struggled to be vulnerable and share my feelings with others. I had experiences that other children typically didn’t, so I felt Isolated.I believe it is my mission to challenge the stigma around mental health and chronic pain through my work to inspire others to open up and dare to be vulnerable about their experiences, creating ripple effects in society and facilitating acknowledgment of their daily suffering. Perhaps my story will encourage others to seek help, educate themselves about these issues, or foster greater empathy and understanding. Cultivating compassion has helped me with healing and personal growth and I strive to empower others to do the same.
Amid the turbulence of my journey, art has become my lifeboat. This unwavering sanctuary enables me to navigate the complexities of my existence rather than passively allowing life to happen to me. It is a steadfast anchor, carrying me through the darkest and most arduous days when pain threatens to engulf every fiber of my being. Through my art, I find solace, expression, and a profound means of healing. Within the deliberate strokes of my brush, the interplay of vibrant colors, and the harmonious shapes that emerge, I discover a wellspring of resilience and transformation. Art empowers me to transcend my circumstances, embracing the boundless beauty of creation and embarking on a profound journey of self-discovery. Through creating, I find solace, restoration, and a renewed sense of purpose.
When starting a painting, I lay down the first layers of my work. As the composition emerges, my brain begins to quiet as I see the path I want to take with my brush on canvas. My inner world takes over from my busy brain and a story emerges, calming my inner narrative.
Although my OCD is rooted in fear of contamination, the possibilities of acrylic paint pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone and choose that as my main medium. despite my fears telling me it was life-threatening. Facing this challenge was a big step in my personal and artistic journey. The acrylic medium transformed my style from watercolor florals that felt safe, to colorful geometric abstraction that set me free. I thrive in organized chaos."