Joanna Whittle is painter and artefact maker. Her seductive miniature scenes draw the viewer into an uneasy, unpeopled world and challenge traditional landscape tropes. She presents the intangible as credible and explores this uncertainty.
Whittle explores themes of ungroundedness and loss; of shifting perspectives and hidden activities and their fragile residue in the landscape. Her ceramics feel like artefacts of elusive histories, borne from unknown rituals. Her paintings are full of temporary structures that sink into motile, flooded land; fragile ruins of a recent past, with the unsettling sense of a recently departed presence; makeshift shrines in dark forests and the accumulated acts of mourning.
Whittle is a member of the Contemporary British Painting Society and was a selector for the Painting Prize in 2021. Recent exhibitions/ venues include Paradoxes, Quay Arts, 2022; Heavy Water, Site Gallery, 2021; Huddersfield Art Gallery & Bloc Projects, 2019. In 2019 she was winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize and in 2020 she was awarded the New Light Valeria Sykes Award, exhibiting at Scarborough Museum, Biscuit Factory Newcastle, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle and Bankside Gallery. In 2020 she was awarded Arts Council funding to work with the Portland Collection, Nottinghamshire. In 2022 she will be working with the National Fairground and Circus Archive at the University of Sheffield. She has a solo exhibition with the Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery in 2022. Currently researching in collaboration with a funerary archaeologist at Sheffield University, she is exploring themes of material mourning and funerary practices.