Born and raised in Western Australia, art has always been in Joanne Duffy’s blood. Her mother an artist, she spent her childhood drawing, painting, and writing, always attracted to the varied and complex landscapes of Australia. After earning a degree in graphic design, she worked her way back to her true love of fine art, and is now creating sublime interpretations of local landscapes.
This love of landscapes is a love of personal, visceral interpretations – not a fan of literal representations, her works are a mass of colour and texture, blending perfectly together to draw the viewer into the painting, to evoke emotions just as dramatic as the stunning landscapes of outback and coastal Australia.
Inspired by Australian artists like Robert Juniper and members of the Heidelberg School, Duffy is drawn to artists who paint Australia the way it is, rather than those who painted the country through a European lens. Relying on the staggering natural beauty of the country, her greatest influences are those who can represent Australia with emotive artworks.
Her design background brings a new edge to her paintings. With her masterful use of oils on canvas, Duffy blends her knowledge of design principles with her painting, creating paintings with a wealth of texture and depth, drawing the viewer back to search through new layers each time they look.
When asked about her greatest achievement thus far, Duffy is humble; though she has won numerous awards for her artwork, she decides that she is most proud of becoming a finalist for the Pro Hart Outback Art Prize. Nominated for the second time in 2017, the Pro Hart prize has brought her recognition outside of WA. In particular, she describes her 2017 entry, BROKEN HILL, as a “selfish” piece of art. Being recognised outside of her home state for a piece that is as personal as it is has highlighted the importance of creating for herself, and staying true to what she wants to create.
It’s the same piece of advice she would give young artists; stick to your guns, and stay true to what you love and what you love to create, rather than hopping on the next big trend for the sake of it. “Be honest and humble,” she adds, emphasising that too many people are trying to sell themselves rather than their work. Even though style is ever-changing (and Duffy admits her own style is dynamic), keeping true to what you want to create will always mean the best for your art.
With a recent trip up to the top end of W.A under her belt and a plethora of new landscapes in her minds eye, Duffy is hoping to break further into the east coast market with her work. Having felt particularly at home in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Broome and its surrounds, she comments on how lucky she is to be an artist in Australia, where there is no shortage of inspiration just outside her front door.