An interview with artist Joanna Braithwaite – Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize winner
After winning the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize – 2019 Professional Artist Prize, Joanna Braithwaite shares her insights and journey, with two weeks to go until entries close for the 2020 prize.
Can you tell us about what inspired you to paint your prize-winning work?
I painted the Bold and the Beautiful as part of a suite of works that featured many species of Australian birds. I felt this picture was fitting to enter the Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize because the subjects were colourful, and the painting celebrated the idea of being proud of one’s individuality, even amongst a crowd.
What have you gone on to do since winning the prize last year?
Since winning the prize, I have continued to do what I always do, and that is painting. I plan to travel to an exciting destination in search of new inspiration and subjects and this trip will be made possible by the prize.
Your work juxtaposes reality and the absurd. What interests you about these two genres?
I am fascinated by strange juxtapositions and how they can throw up questions about the world we live in. For example, a bird in a newspaper hat can potentially say a lot about the state of the world, which is pretty bizarre right now.
What do you like about painting?
I am fascinated by history and I love the evocativeness and mystery of historical paintings. Practically, painting in oils means that I can layer and rework paintings over time. It’s a challenge for me to try to manipulate reality and make it believable. Painting is the best vehicle I have found to do this.
What are some of the current trends you are seeing for artists right now?
I think it is a good time to be a woman working as an artist in Australia – women are making terrific contemporary work in a variety of materials – and fabric artists are being recognised both here and internationally. I’ve also noticed that across all media there is often an emphasis on global environmental concerns.
Painting is ever evolving, as is sculpture, and performance art. The Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize is therefore a fantastic opportunity to bring together and showcase this variety of exceptional work.
The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize
The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize is an annual prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established female artists in Australia. It is the highest value professional artist prize for women in the country.
The three prize categories are the Professional Artist Prize of $35,000, the Emerging Artist Prize of $5,000, and the Indigenous Emerging Artist Prize of $5,000.
Get your entries in to Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize now.
Joanna Braithwaite is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary in Sydney.