Joanne Duffy's passion for the Australian landscape results in artworks of reflection, vitality, intense colour and emotion. She has received local awards and been a finalist in numerous Western Australian and national awards. Her work is held in private and public collections.
“My works are my interpretation and transfer of emotions of the world around me – they are my visual conversation.”Joanne Duffy
Where do you live and work in WA? What impact does this have on your art practice?
I live in Mount Claremont. City Beach is just over the ridge, and looking out from my living room window is Bold Park, an A-class reserve in the heart of the western coast suburbs.
There’s an abundance of flora and fauna, including red-tailed forest and Carnaby’s cockatoos, and rare orchids, banksias and wattle. Local lakelands, the bush, and beach are all very much part of my current work subject matter and provide constant inspiration. We’re only a 15-minute drive to the city, but living here feels like we’re up in the hills, but with all the resources for running my arts practice close by.
What drew you to working in oils?
I primarily work in oils, but not exclusively. I also enjoy acrylics, watercolours and dry media such as charcoal. Oils are particularly wonderful to paint with, as they are very versatile and can be worked on over a longer period of time. It is very relaxing, too! Drawing in graphite, ink and charcoal is also a favourite pastime.
How would you describe your style or genre, and who are the artists that inspire you?
An expressionist at heart, key inspirations for my work lie in interpreting the emotional response to memories of landscape and how this affects our character. The native flora and ancient landscapes are strong stimuli for investigating our senses’ response through colour, texture and movement.
My style is more of a character trait. I’m attracted to expressing how a place makes you feel, what resonates with you (me). This is communicated with pure spontaneity and impulse, but then reined in with contemplation, design and restraint. It is these remnants of experience that provide the key for interpretation of both personal and perceived experience. I work to stay true to my processes and direction, and what results is… me.
As for inspiration, contemporary artists include Sam Leach, Robert Hannaford, Ben Quilty and Jon Cattapan. Others include Robert Juniper, a WA landscape artist, for his interpretation of, and connection to, the Australian landscape. John Olsen, Andrew Wyeth, the mid-century American artist, for his sensitivity in his subject matter, and JMW Turner, for his connection to the British landscape and audacious style that was so contemporary.
Tell us about your creative process.
If there is no brief, or boundaries, on the subject matter, I turn to the natural world around me. I might be stimulated by the capture of light on the local lake on a winter morning, or the destructive seas of a January storm. This provides a starting point in the studio. I might not end up painting that experience at that time but it is an expressive kickstarter. There are other times when a particular colour I’ve mixed, or a new paint product, provides the inspiration, and it evolves into something else I’ve been inspired by. These are sessions of pure expression and spontaneity: let’s just see what happens! From that, more controlled, deliberate actions follow. If I’m painting to a brief, such as for a commission, I take this on as a challenge and explore how I want to interpret that theme. That may start with sketches and experiments before I go on to create the final piece.read less