Joanna Braithwaite

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1962

Ascension

  • Purchased, 2001
  • Oil on canvas
  • 1522 x 2743mm
  • 2001/02
  • 2000

Joanna Braithwaite’s works often address the ambiguous relationship between animals and humans, particularly where animals are victims of exploitation. Here, she gives to a human the most obvious ability of birds - that of flight. But it is unclear which species is in control, suggesting an alteration in the usual balance of power. In 1999 Braithwaite moved to Sydney. Living near the airport, she became interested in the idea of flight - both physical and metaphorical. Many of her subsequent works focused on birds and winged insects and on flying, floating, levitating or, as here, ascending. Braithwaite was born in England but came to New Zealand in 1965. The family lived on a farm in South Canterbury. Braithwaite graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1985, after having received the Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship and the Sawtell Turner Painting Prize in 1983. Since 1984 she has exhibited widely both in New Zealand and Australia. Braithwaite lectured in painting at the University of Canterbury in 1998. She currently lives in Sydney.