JOANNA POTTLE – US – Painting
Artist statement and bio
Born in Richmond, Virginia, US.
Joanna Pottle is a visual artist, researcher, educator, and curator. Her studio practice combines abstract mixed media techniques of painting, printmaking, drawing, and installations and her research includes investigations of public art and space, contemporary art, post-colonial and post-soviet studies, collective memory and shame, (re)negotiation of previously untold or unheard narratives, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, cross-cultural understanding, trauma, healing and peace-building, vulnerability, courage, and empathy. She is graduate of James Madison University, holding a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Art History with an Art Education track.
“I am a visual storyteller. Or perhaps more accurately, a facilitator of truth telling.
Creating new narratives that put to rest familiar, desperately held onto lies, representing existing truths, and engaging in alternative archival processes to preserve past pains and joys.
Communicating truths and imagination, many times both simultaneously.
Somewhere between real life in all its mundane glory and unapologetic imagination is where we find our truest reality.
This in between is where I reside.
I pursue the in between with the objective of creating a space for active listening, meaningful connection, and transformative healing.
….Dreaming is a form of planning. Gloria Steinman”
Шляя/ to amble
The 3 memoryscape series I worked on during the residency centers on the topics of cultural heritage, memory, and the act of slowing down my artistic process, of leaning into a meditative ritual with each individual piece. And the concept that each part makes up the whole and is not complete without the other.
For the 2 drawings series, my intention was to intuitively translate my newly acquired knowledge of myths, legends, traditions, and the landscape of Gorna Lipnista in initially blind line contour drawings. Based only on the projection slides and on locations in Gorna Lipnista, I then went back and refined the drawings to have images emerge.
The mixed media memoryscape, made of painting, pastels, ink, charcoal, found materials including maps and project slides, and pen, is inspired by the culture heritage, landscape and myths of Bulgaria as well as the lack of representation of woman in historic family trees (as is the case in many other contexts). I have included some fragments of maps of Bulgaria and anonymous portraits of Bulgarian women in attempts to create an artistic commemoration to the many unknown or forgotten women of the past and weave them back into the landscape and into our consciousness through artistic intervention.