Anthropomorphic animals, mountain-top scenes and human connection—these are the diverse themes of Joanne’s acrylic paintings and etchings, created in her tiny, private studio. Art galleries are the public portal to her artistic world. Joanne moved to Central Otago in 2007. She loves the beautiful light, the clear air and quietness, and the open, relaxed people.
In 2000, Joanne became pregnant and `tired of all the baby stuff’, she joined an art painting class. When a few of her works sold in an exhibition, her career as a working artist was born.
“Although I had taken an art elective at school, I was talked out of it as a career and I eventually became a veterinarian. I’d been drawing on and off throughout my life and started painting a little bit by default. Many of the paintings I’ve done use texture but more recently I’ve been doing paintings and etchings on plexiglass. My aim is to be as original as I can. I believe in originality so I don’t tend to get out and see what other people are doing—almost on purpose. Because I like my artwork to come from within me. When other people connect with it, then that’s really cool.”
Stand Out and Be Counted
Central Otago value: Making a difference
A black sheep, a sheep wearing a woolly jumper or sunglasses. Joanne’s love of animals led to her anthropomorphic paintings. These works capture her belief that it’s really important we think for ourselves and make a difference. The paintings set a new direction and have a tangible, positive effect on people’s lives.
“The reason I paint is because I want to make a difference. Often the feedback about my work is that it makes people think, or that it makes people smile and lifts their mood. I really love the thought of being able to impact people through my work. I particularly like doing paintings that have meaning behind them. When people connect with that meaning it really brings me a huge amount of joy.”
Caretakers of the World
Central Otago value: Protecting our rich heritage
Joanne’s tramping trips are the inspiration for her `tramping tops’ exploration series. Magnificent mountain top vistas and tumbling streams are depicted—the raw beauty of wilderness places where Joanne has stopped to marvel at magnificent views. These paintings celebrate our enduring landscape. They are a legacy for the future, protecting our heritage. After all, we are the caretakers of the world.
“My hope is that by preserving wonderful landscapes through painting them, it helps to protect them. If people appreciate and celebrate landscapes, then you would hope that they preserve them and that the immense value of our national parks is maintained. I love exploring and getting up into the mountains. I’ve probably been on top of most of the mountains around here now.”
We Are One
Central Otago value: Respecting others
Human connection is an emerging theme of Joanne’s ideation paintings, as they express the importance of respect for others and harmonious living. Tessellated in individual sheets of layered plexiglass, Joanne’s jig-sawed people explore ideas of community and inclusive, collective action. Her work, `From the Void’, represents the human form, etched repeatedly in plexiglass layers of skin and clothes. A further layer separates people from each other and there is a blank, grey space.
“With painting it’s what you can see yourself. Some of my paintings are to do with how people are connected. We’re all one big group of people across the world. It’s about respecting others and our cultural and personal differences. We all come from basically the same thing.”
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