In Free Bleed, artist Leah Shirley explores her relationship with womanhood, questioning her own desires for a utopian sense of reality. A reality that could be considered good, pleasant and beautiful (or other commonly accepted values) but also reflects her own truth – something that is complicated. Something that is often obscured yet still tangible beneath the layers, that demands introspection and slowly builds upon itself; link upon link, like a chain. Something that celebrates and submits to the sublime nature of existence, mirrored through our earth and bodies.
What does it feel like to live true to ones own desires? What would it be like to free bleed? Shirley poses these questions with great surrender, embracing a reality that may not be utopian, but could be ideal. Neither neat nor perfect, but honest.
Leah Shirley is an interdisciplinary artist currently living and practicing in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Shirley received a BFA in Photography and has exhibited throughout the US–most recently at New Release Gallery (NYC) and Orgy Park (Brooklyn, NY). Shirley's work explores identity, the feminine and our connection to the earth. A native of Austin, TX, Shirley can often be found outdoors connecting with nature, and is a member of the NY based Feminist Bird Club.