Joanne Leah’s Acid Mass portrays a series of contorted body parts, arranged like design elements, and juxtaposed with ordinary yet highly-stylized props. Using jewel-inspired colors as the primary backdrop to her narrative, she takes us on a mysterious and eerie trip though a series of staged fairy tale crimes. Her ritualistic imagery draws from her own childhood recollections, exploring themes of isolation, detachment, and self-identity. Every prop or symbol used- a blanket, a piece of rope, a plastic bag, traces back to a personal and specific memory- some nostalgic and some traumatic.
The name of the series is equally anecdotal: as a rebellious teenager Joanne would go to Catholic mass still hallucinating on acid trips from the night before, an early visual experience that has inspired her ongoing fascination for bright colours, surreal imagery and abstract textures.
We love the way her enigmatic photography ignites the curiosity of the viewer, inspiring us to search within our own minds for clues and interpretations.
“When I was a child, I would explore the woods behind my house. I ventured alone, following a small creek. One winter day, I deviated from my usual path. As I walked, I heard a man shout. A pack of barking dogs ran towards me. I immediately dropped to the snowy ground and pretended to be dead. I held my breath. The dogs surrounded me, sniffing and snorting. I had never felt that kind of fear before, the dear of being eaten alive.”