Joanna Braithwaite’s surreal description of hybrid animals, human and insects have established her reputation as an artist concerned with humanity’s relationship with the natural world, evolution and science and the nature of authority and power. Braithwaite was born in the United Kingdom and came to settle in New Zealand in 1965.Read More
She graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch, New Zealand in 1984 and achieved prominence in the exhibition Here and Now – Twelve Young Canterbury Artists in 1988. In the 1990s she shared her time between Australia and New Zealand, completing post-graduate study at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney and residing there permanently from 1999.
Braithwaite grew up in a rural community and has maintained that underlying her practice remains a curiosity with the ambiguous and interdependent relationship between people and animals, with her painting frequently examining such issues in surreal and unsettling images.
Her work was the subject of a major survey exhibition curated by the Christchurch and Dunedin public art galleries in 2005, and was also included in The Year of the Bird, at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in New South Wales in 2008.
Braithwaite is represented in the collections of the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Fletcher Challenge Collection, Auckland as well as many other public and private collections.
Your work plays with the absurd, the surreal at times. There are elements of realism but then the subjects can be doing completely bizarre things such as, for instance, the fat man with the oversized pants packed full of dogs. Can you talk to me about this juxtaposition in your paintings? I don’t see things as being black and white. I...