This searingly intimate literary debut from top Irish art critic Cristín Leach weaves words and art with an unravelling of self that comes when a marriage breaks. In a multi-layered and incisive narrative, Leach writes about the gaps between reality and perception, about writing and anxiety, body and brain, breaking and making, succeeding and failing, conventionality and independence.
The non-linear structure of Negative Space, with repeats, retakes, and details deliberately left unsaid, mimics the gaps in memory and understanding that are part of the human condition, especially during times of great stress. It’s about art and writing as a fundamental way of explaining and understanding the world, perhaps saying what cannot be said, or revealing without showing.
Negative Space is a memoir about writing and of art as a salve and a means of escape, marriage as a refuge and a trap, the nature of home, and what happens when everything falls apart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cristín Leach is The Sunday Times Ireland’s longest serving art critic. She has written about art for the paper since 2003. She is a writer and broadcaster, whose short fiction and personal essays have been published in Winter Papers and on RTE Radio 1 (Keywords 2020). Her art writing has also appeared in Irish Arts Review, on RTE.ie, in artist catalogues, and other publications. In 2018, she was shortlisted for Critic of the Year in the Newsbrands Ireland Journalism Awards. In 2021, she was Writer in Residence for the Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival and was elected President of the Irish branch of AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art).
PRAISE FOR NEGATIVE SPACE
‘Original, intense, and always compelling – this is a highly accomplished debut.’
‘There are few books that capture so gracefully and so truthfully the way in which art and life weave and bleed together. Negative Space is a beautiful, profound, unique book.’
‘I adored Negative Space. It is a personal Ways Of Seeing for twenty-first-century women … Leach beautifully articulates what it is to be a writer, what it is to be heartbroken, what it is to be betrayed and ultimately what it is to be human.’
‘Press your ear to this book, and you will hear the tumultuous soundscape of a life, in all its joys and sorrows and wonderings.’
DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA
‘Negative Space is a beautiful book – raw, honest, and vulnerable. Searingly intimate and thought-provoking.’