Friday 22 September 2017

​Hello everyone,

Just to remind you to pop along to Nunhead and follow the Art Trail, open from 11am - 6pm on Saturday and Sunday this weekend...Nunhead is a very special place, a wonderful village in South East London, with a thriving unspoilt 1950's style high street. They still have a butcher, a baker, a greengrocer and a fishmonger, all nestled around the lovely village green with community centre and gastro pub attached. Recent additions to the high street include lots of lovely eateries, a craft beer shop, a delicatessen and vintage craft and furniture shops. The map includes the tranquil wilderness of Nunhead Cemetry, one of the most beautiful and wild green spots in London.

More info and a map here:​

I'm number 69 in the brochure, 68 on the map, and as well as having a painting at Tracey Francis's homage to The Nunhead Open at 156 Hollydale Road - number 15 - I'll be exhibiting with artists Dick Graham and Frances Greville at 57 Athenlay Road SE15 3EN, where I'll have plenty of interesting work on show, including small affordable pieces, as well as my newly reworked musical mushroom sculpture "Conical Wax Cap":

and my new series of oil paintings, last seen at Cafe Gallery Projects in Southwark Park.
The oil painting “HMS Impregnable” is part of a series of paintings which are an exploration of the wonder and fascination for floral motifs in our history, and a metaphorical description of the power of flowers to uplift and revive the spirit in times of adversity. 

Blue roses stretch across the canvas, surrounded by blue sky above and green sea below. The blue rose is a flower of the genus Rosa (family Rosaceae) that presents blue to violet pigmentation. In literature and art it is a symbol of love and prosperity. The impossible or the unattainable.

Since the blue rose is a rarity in nature, it stands for something that is hardly within one's grasp, an object(ive) that seems too difficult to achieve. Thus, the blue rose is admired and revered as an unachievable dream. It also expresses love at first sight, royal majesty and splendour.

In this painting, vibrant blue roses dance across the canvas, sharing space with motifs such as butterflies, sailors and mermaids. Included are smaller floral patterns described using stencils of William Morris designs, sourced from the domestic architecture at Union Chapel, and Darwin’s famous ship HMS Beagle, being chased by a sea monster, with quotes from his writings found in the Penguin book “It Was Snowing Butterflies”. One of the Little Black Classics series, the book contains a selection of Darwin’s extraordinary adventures during the voyage of the Beagle from December 1831 to February 1832.

Within the paintings can be found 83 names, painted on white strips, emerging from the pebbles at the bottom of the sea. These are names of some of the people tragically affected by the government’s changes to disability living allowance, and the bedroom tax, as documented in Ken Loach’s film “I, Daniel Craig”. For example, Colin Traynor who suffered from epilepsy, denied disability living allowance and found fit for work: 5 weeks after his death his family found out that he had won his appeal. His father is quoted as saying “ I firmly believe – 100% believe – that the system this government introduced has killed my son.” Stephen Hill, who died of a heart attack while awaiting heart surgery, one month after being found fit for work. And Cecilia Burns, found fit for work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer, she died a few weeks after winning her appeal.

These elements are painted in oil on canvas, with vibrant colours, using a broad range of techniques. From free scumbling translucent brushwork, to intensely fine lined detail drawn in paint onto flat colours across the canvas, and stencilling using hand made stencils.

The roses represent the difficulty in achieving a balance between the intense beauty of wild nature and the urban landscape. The source for the roses comes from The 1990s, when my art expressed itself through installations, using furniture, found objects, embroidery and taxidermy. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rolled out Care in the Community. Hospitals and institutions closed. I attended an auction of furniture and equipment and found a hospital screen. The poignancy of its chintz rose pattern inspired me to start painting again. The patina on the fabric, rich with emotional resonance. Sanderson Chelsea. 1950s style retro. English beauty, wonder, fascination. Floral motifs, history. Domestic architecture. I started drawing and painting as an experiment. Describing and capturing process, a description of flowers. Since then I have regularly used this motif in my paintings, and still do to this day.

Here's a link to the live art singing interaction, "Full Fathom Five", that complemented the painting on September 3rd. Filmed by artist Calum F. Kerr:

And here I am with the lovely Caroline Gregory who also performed on that day:

With love and best wishes - Joanna

Friday 1 September 2017

Hello everyone,
This is a busy month for me! CGP gallery's show ends on Sunday with a finnissage, I'm exhibiting a painting for By The Sea in Whitstable, curated by Harry Pye, other artists include Peter Doig, Sarah Sparkes and Geraldine Swayne. Empire II is travelling to Kendal in the beautiful Lake District. My project with Union Chapel continues to thrive, and my classes at Thomas Calton Centre will begin again on September 18th, more info at And on the weekend of September 23rd and 24th I will be taking part in The Nunhead Art Trail.
Please continue to read for more details and photos from last month's endeavours...

This Sunday afternoon you will find me in Southwark Park, for a walking tour and the finnissage party at Cafe Gallery Projects. I will be delivering my live art interaction Full Fathom Five, to complement my painting HMS Impregnable, being exhibited as part of the Common and Garden exhibition, if you missed the opening come along and enjoy the exhibition on Sunday!

If you haven't had a chance to see the Bermondsey Artist Group exhibition at CGP Gallery - save some time on afternoon 3rd September when they'll be a last chance to see the work, meet other artists and interact with a number of performances including:

The 21C Beautification Committee Forage & Walking Tour:
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Price £6 Meeting at Garden entrance of CGPGallery
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM BST
Inspired by Ada Salter’s establishment of the Beautification Committee in Southwark in the 1920s, the Gallery exhibition and walk delves into aspects of togetherness, thinking of art and nature as a communitarian, aesthetic project; cultivating and nurturing new forms of representation; the common, with its flowerbeds, weeds and non-native plants, a field of pollen and scent permeates our everyday city routine. In the ‘lungs of London’*, our vital green spaces, we reach towards a state of peace and equilibrium while championing the population of street trees and plants.
Come and join the walk to learn how to identify native and non-native trees, explore the 'beauty' of Bermondsey and share in some foraged fruits from the areas abundance of plants. The walk includes a guided tour of the area and the exhibition by artist Charlie Fox.
Proceeds from the walk help support the work of the Gallery and InspiralLondon Project. Tickets available here  

3pm - 5pm For BAG artists will be providing a number of services and exchanges on the themes of beautification, gentrification and transformation.
Encounter Caroline Gregory's silent tribute in the Ada Salter Garden. Meditations and conversations on nature, health and transformation; working from the inside outwards.
In the Gallery you might exchange some local earth with Sarah Sparkes' Dirt Bags Relocation Services or enjoy “Full Fathom Five” as Joanna McCormick, manifest as Flora, Roman Goddess of flowers, hands out “Butterfollies”. Or delve into the depths of the park by witnessing Gail Dickerson's core investigations.

Plus the opportunity to pick up and discuss copies of the new Beautification Committee poster.

Refreshments provided. All events free.

BY THE SEA is an exhibition at Gallery 64a, 64 Oxford Street, Whitstable, CT5 1DG - featuring work by; Harry Adams, Martin Brown, Gordon Beswick, Billy Childish, Jackie Clark, Emma Coleman, Beverley Daniels, Charlie Day, Peter Doig, August Kunnapu, Lee Maelzer, Joanna McCormick, Mark McGowan, Paul, Sakoilsky, Sarah Sparkes, Tom Shedden, Geraldine Swayne, Sandra Turnbull, Julian Wakeling, and Agnieszka Zapala. “By The Sea” is an exhibition of drawings, paintings, prints, collages and photographs of boats, beaches, coastlines, sea creatures, and a few surprises. Curator Harry Pye selected 20 artists to take part in the show and has hung their work salon-style. There are contributions from a wide range of artists some you’ll probably know already and some you won’t have heard of. Why not come and see if there's any work that connects with you?"

The show runs from the 6th of September until the 27th of September. For more info about visiting times please contact Rob Mumby via:, or visit
EMPIRE II  will be showing at Provincial Project Space in Kendal, opening on September 15th, 2pm - 10pm.

Provincial Project Space is an occasional exhibition arena set up by artists Rebecca Scott and Mark Woods in 2017,

The building is a redundant Kendal Mint Cake Works situated in the historic Kirkland area of Kendal.

Part of the factory will be transformed into a contemporary exhibition space to provide the opportunity to display a diverse range and eclectic selection of art.

The intention is to bring contemporary art to Kendal and create a dialogue with the local community.

Heterodox:might describe our philosophy of curating

which resonates with the way we have been working with Vanya Balogh over the recent years in various venues in London and the Venice Biennale.

The Inaugural show will be Empire 2 , in immersive film show curated by Vanya Balogh concurrently running in The 57th Venice Biennale.

Rebecca Scott and Mark Woods live and work in Cumbria and London.
SHRINE TO THE SEASONS continues to develop at Union Chapel in Islington. Pop in on Wednesday September 13th, anytime between 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 6pm. Join our friendly group and learn new art techniques on a summer theme. We will be starting work on the second icon, for display at the chapel next year.
THOMAS CALTON CENTRE is a friendly community college in Peckham, South East London. Running a variety of different courses for adults, from ESOL and fitness to ceramics and music. My 15 week Life Drawing Monday evening classes and 10 week Still Life Tuesday morning classes will start on September 18th and 19th. Book early to avoid disappointment! Call 0207 358 2100 or visit for more details.

Or drop in for a Watercolour taster session with me between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday September 12th.

TCC is on Choumert Road, just off Rye Lane in Peckham, SE15 4NX. Nearest station Peckham Rye. Classes are suitable for all levels of ability.
THE NUNHEAD ART TRAIL On September 23rd and 24th from 11am to 6pm each day, you are invited to come along and explore the quaint and unique South East London village of Nunhead, and discover some hidden treasures of contemporary art at the same time.

My work can be found at 156 Hollydale Road SE15 2TQ
, where Tracey Francis will be hosting a homage to The Nunhead Open series of exhibitions, organised by The Surgery art group, over several years across different venues in Nunhead.

I'll also be creating a mini installation at 57 Athenlay Road SE15 3EN
, sharing space with artists Dick Graham and Frances Greville.

More information can be found at:

And here are some photos from last month's Grove Park Carnival, curated by Frog Morris, photos by Victoria Morris and Calum F. Kerr: