Joanne Leah's work is about sensation, wanting the viewer to feel what her subject feels using their own sensual interpretations. Leah grew up with an estranged/strange relationship to her own body: "I have always felt awkward and clumsy in my body. In third grade I had an intense growth spurt and was suddenly the tallest in my class. Throughout the rest of my childhood and adolescence, I struggled with some level of body dysmorphia and often fantasized about being someone else. I would repeatedly check out the book from the school library, Stranger with My Face, by Lois Duncan, about twin girls and astral projection. I started to 'practice' leaving my body as I fell asleep at night."
She is expanding on a body of work titled, Acid Mass. The series is inspired by her own personal experiences with the unreal, by acts of rebellion and psychedelic voyeurism that she repeated frequently as a teen. “The acid mass of my adolescence would begin on a Saturday night, taking LSD and going to a rave that would last until early Sunday morning, when my mother would force me to go to Catholic church, not realizing I was hallucinating. My work is based on my perception of that experience: ritualistic, cultish, surreal and somewhat violent. By freeing ourselves from these constraints of physicality, we vividly bend and lurch into new structures. I continually experiment with engaging in methods of bodily detachment.”