Opening Conversation

Gallery Tour

Joanna Cole sees landscape in a way that stimulates the senses. Today, contemporary artists continue to make landscape painting relevant and exciting, pushing past tradition to re-imagine the landscape in contemporary terms.

As a full time artist Joanna artist draws from traditional genres of painting, however, the romantic notion of place is always fully embraced and she is ialso nterested in the history of that place, including the writers, artists, poets and philosophers who have walked there before us.

Joanna works predominantly in the field of contemporary landscape painting and her practice re-examines and disrupts the sense of conventional and conservative. Her paintings are somewhat representational depictions of landscape but also influenced by a questioning of her and others’ interaction with this space. She is known for her vibrant, colourful expressionist style and her diversified surfaces.

These sublime portrayals of the Australian landscape are representative of the new vision emerging in the tradition of great Australian landscape painters. Joanna’s use of colour and contour intensifies the mood of the painting creating her personalised view of the landscape based on an emotional and naturalistic response to it rather than to achieve a realistic representation. The result is powerful, energetic and expressive. And the little ‘Streeton’ paintings – plein air delights from our local Arthur Streeton lookout – are divine!

“The road trip, full of changing dramatic landscapes has been fundamental in the process of my creating, and the exhibition Magical Mystical delves into three particular landscapes:

-Looking towards Mount Barker through two majestic Ghost Gums in South Australia

-Across the red-pink dirt tracks through a memorable Hill End setting and thirdly,

-Streeton Lookout at Freemans Reach, and the bend in the Hawkesbury River”.

Joanna is enthralled by the grandeur and complexities of the broad Australian landscape. Born in 1973, she spent her first 20 years in the small township located in the vast ‘Mallee’ area of South Australia and for this part, her world was one that was stark and imposing. Joanna has always felt spiritually in tune, and strongly connected to the landscape. Her paintings reflect this relationship. They are stripped of unnecessary triviality, philosophically composed with striking colours that are often breathtaking in their intensity, giving the works an intense inner drama and individuality.

“By the time Streeton was looking out over the Hawkesbury, his vision, his experience was one of “artistic intoxication”. The bush beckoned the painter to come and be “disciplined” by the elements. He painted over two days, possibly from the deck of a private home on the bend now named Streeton Lookout. It was 108 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade. I followed suit, painting over two days, experiencing this disciplining of the elements, and both days It was 104 degrees in the shade, (standard for Summer on the Hawkesbury) 40 Celsius – a dry unforgiving heat but compensated by a beautiful clear sky so blue i could perceive the purple noon, Shelley and Streeton waxed lyrical over. Forever space extending into distant hillscapes and an orchestra of cicadas broadcasting the latitude.”