Body Positivity Artist Clíodhna Doherty On What Makes Her Work Real

"I aim to capture the strength, vulnerability, beauty, and resilience"

Clíodhna Doherty dubs herself a body positivity artist.

Her work celebrates the female form, and captures the authenticity, reality, and beauty of the female experience.

The Newry native recently showcased her work theInternational Fine Art Cannes Biennale, which took place during the Cannes Film Festival.

She says having her work shown at such a prestigious event was “an incredibly exhilarating and humbling experience.”

“The atmosphere was electric, and the positive reception my work received was beyond anything I had imagined,” she tells STELLAR. “It was also a unique opportunity to connect with fellow creatives, industry professionals, and art enthusiasts from around the world.”

Clíodhna’s piece, ‘Emily’, was on show at the festival, and is a bid to inspire women. The piece details a laughing, relaxed female form, using gentle colours like light yellow, peach, and purple. It’s casual, soft, and surprisingly intimate.

The painting is part of a larger collection called ‘Intimacy’, and Clíodhna says she wanted to represent intimate moments, as seen by women. “Surprisingly, it wasn’t the typical notions of intimacy that the title might suggest,” she says. “Instead, it focused on the small, cherished moments throughout the day—the quiet mornings spent in bed, the stillness of a bath or shower, the acts of self-care done solely for oneself.

“‘Emily’ is a piece that radiates feminine power, showcasing a woman genuinely content in her moment. The sitter expressed, “I took these photos at a time when my relationship with my body was improving. I was truly enjoying exercising and nourishing my body, appreciating it for its ability to move and keep me alive and healthy, not just for its appearance.

“This sentiment shines through in the painting, with the vibrant energy captured in the contrast between Emily’s body and the paler background, illustrating a profound sense of vitality and self-appreciation.”

Clíodhna’s work is a celebration of womanhood, in all its forms. Showcasing the female form is important to her, because she wants to celebrate the “multifaceted nature” of the female experience -“I aim to capture the strength, vulnerability, beauty, and resilience,” she says.

“It’s a way to challenge traditional perceptions and stereotypes, presenting women in their authentic and empowered states. Ultimately, it’s about honouring the diversity and richness of female identity and encouraging viewers to appreciate and reflect on their own perceptions of intimacy and self-worth.”