In conversation with Joanne Faulkner – an artist from Melbourne, Australia, who now lives in Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
It’s been a long road via a Fine Art degree, teaching art, scratching out a living as a commercial photographer and various jobs including cleaning hotel rooms in Paros, Greece. I was always furtively practicing my own art in the background. Only now has it come to the fore, via my Instagram and Facebook. Thanks to social media, my work has been released into the world to a surprising amount of people.
You are clearly interested in form and texture, where does this interest come from?
I move in a space between painting, drawing, collage, digital photography and video. For a while now I have been deeply into digital photography and creating digital ‘paintings’. I simulate the immediacy and physicality of paint in a two dimensional space, working as I do when I paint, but with digital information as the medium. I want the viewer to be aware of an image’s digital composition while at the same time being struck by it’s painterly familiarity.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?
Inside the pages of a sketchbook is where I like to let loose. I dip my pages in streams, burn pages, tear them out, stick them back in again. I draw with burnt sticks and pigment dug out of the dirt. Anything goes. It’s pretty raw. That’s when some beautiful accidents happen too. My sketchbook, the landscape and I end up having these encounters. It’s become a way for me to connect with what is around me, to feel a part of it. And importantly to learn about it, which eventually, like a stream, feeds into my digital ‘paintings’.
What themes are you exploring through your work?
The thread currently running through my work at the moment is a deep feeling for this Tasmanian environment. If I could make anyone look more closely at their own surroundings and the history embedded there, then that would be my work done.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
It’s mixed in with my mundane domestic life, I’m not carving off a special art time. I might look at my photos and make an image on Photoshop after I’ve checked Facebook. I’ll take some photos when I’m on a walk. Usually with my phone. It all runs together, a continual flow. Sometimes it’ll be hours of getting lost to the process until it feels right. Eventually I take what I make back to the original landscape, to show the landscape what I did and to say thank you.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the sketchbook and the work to the artist.
If I’m not creating, if I’m too busy at my job as a Disability worker and don’t make anything for a while, I find myself niggly and out of sorts. If I reconnect with that playful spirit, often in a sketchbook, then I rebalance. Funnily enough, I am also just as content if I listen to music and dance. They are similar beasts to me; drawing and dancing. Propelled by emotion. A direct line of feeling from the body. Perhaps the dance floor is a sketchbook page for the body to draw on.