Joanna Braithwaite continually questions our ideas of what is human. In her paintings, animals adopt the guise of people: a peacock wears a turban à la Edith Sitwell; a naked woman and a dog joyfully jump rope together; a crumpled elephant gathers butterflies in his, what is that – a sleep suit?; and a fish rows a dinghy in choppy seas.
Concerns about our relationship with the natural world are central to Joanna’s work. She’s subversive and often mischievous as she questions identity and the structures of power and authority, yet her work is frequently unsettling and full of pathos.
Born in England in 1962, Joanna Braithwaite graduated from the Ilam School of Fine Arts at Canterbury University in 1985. She has lived and worked in Sydney since 1999 and has been part of group shows and held many solo exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia.
Joanna has been a finalist in the Archibald and Sulman Art Awards in Australia and was runner- up in the Portia Geach Art Award in 2006. In 2005 the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, exhibited a survey show of her work entitled Wonderland. The New Zealand Portrait Gallery exhibited a show, Significant Others, in 2011.
In 2015 Joanna held solo shows at Darren Knight Gallery in Sydney and Milford Galleries, Queenstown.
Her work is represented in the following collections: Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru, The Christchurch Art Gallery, James Wallace Collection, Lincoln University, Paris Collection (New Zealand) and Artbank, Germanos Collection, Tweed River Art Gallery, Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, Dubbo, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland (Australia)