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Cassie Leedham


"I’m an artist who started painting during lockdown, shortly after the birth of my second child. With my first, I struggled with postnatal depression and so I had many things in place the second time round to ensure I would be okay. I had a perinatal mental health team behind me, regular therapy in place, I was ready to leave the house more, see friends more and accept more help from those around me. When the pandemic hit, all of that was taken away. I began painting to stay sane. First digitally and then in oils. I documented my journey through motherhood in a pandemic, and I thought every day about the other women out there doing the same. When the lockdown lifted, I began to reach out to other lockdown mothers and ask to hear their stories. From that came an idea for a body of work about motherhood. So I took their words and I translated them into portraits that represented their journeys. Using paintings from art history painted by men of women, I recreated the poses and settings through the lens of lockdown motherhood and I gave these women back their own narratives in the paintings. What I ended up with is a collection of portraits that I hope show the struggle, the pain and the joy of motherhood. The loss of self alongside the newly found determination, pride and power.

I am now hoping to create a coffee table book containing the portraits I painted alongside quotes from the women who sat with me, talking about their own journeys."

See more of Cassie's work on her website, Instagram and Facebook page.

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