Joanne Humphreys BA PGCE MA
Joanne Humphreys is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist for over 35 years. Originally from Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, she moved to Cheltenham in 1983 and completed her Fine Art Degree with honours in 1986. Joanne returned to Wales with a solo exhibition of her work and many of her works remain in private collections.
During the 90’s, she continued to work on the theme of animals and additionally in illustration and portraits. Her work also evolved to include birds in their natural environment using chalk pastel and watercolour. She went into teaching in 2003 and still continues to teach art at Gloucestershire College.
In 2011, she joined the Cheltenham Open Studios group of artists and the Associate group of artists in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Around the same time, she began working on a long-term project about Down Syndrome, and how the disability can coexist in harmony within our society. She collaborated with the filmmaker Lee Mathews to create a thought-provoking film called the ‘Dis’ based around her son. She also developed large colourful wood carving overlays with contrasting linear portraits of children with Down Syndrome depicting the complexity and purity of the condition while simultaneously educating the viewer of its positivity. The work was exhibited at The Atrium Gallery in Cardiff sponsored by the university of Wales in 2015.
In recent years she has had numerous exhibitions of her work locally and nationally. Her work mainly has a personal connection, even down to the flower chosen in memory of her parents and the Geckos that remind her of days with her son Graeme who died of Neuroblastoma at the age of four on December 31st, 1999.
She began to focus her work more directly on the experiences of her son Graeme while studying her Master’s in Fine Art at Hereford College of Arts in 2019 where she produced and directed a film called, ‘The Process’. The film is a cathartic look at the grieving process in connection to the experiences she had during her son’s illness. The music in the background of the film, (Music piece by Gustav Mahler based on Friedrick Ruckets Kindertotenlieder, poem, composed as an expression of the love one has for their child. She won the acclaimed Sidney Nolan Award in October 2020 for the film. She has continued her work in this area focusing on association of objects and memories experimenting with cyanotype and anthrotype printing.
In 2021, she decided to work on a piece of artwork to commemorate 40 years of Neuroblastoma UK charity of which she has supported since her son Graeme fell ill in 1998.
The commemorative piece has 40 portraits of children affected by Neuroblastoma. The work will be touring different venues around the UK between 2022 and 2023.
You can view Joanne’s work on her website and social media page.