Press ‘play’ above to hear the conversation  and scroll down to see the paintings

Joanna Braithwaite grew up in Pleasant Point, a small country town in New Zealand, and has been living in Australia for over 16 years. In the last few weeks she has been named as a finalist in both the Sulman and Mosman art prizes and has been a finalist in many more including the Archibald and Portia Geach prizes. Her solo exhibition ‘Social Animal’ is currently showing at Martin Browne Contemporary in Sydney’s Paddington.

Although Joanna’s work includes paintings with figures and still life, it’s safe to say her predominant subject is that of animals. From birds, reptiles and fish to bears horses, elephants, sloths and particularly dogs, Joanna has expertly captured creatures in paint.

But she hasn’t just represented them as we find them in the world as you can see from these images and you will hear all about her approach in this interview.

We talk about the lengths to which she went to study the anatomy of animals in her early art career including a trip to an abbatoir. She also talks about what she’s aiming to convey in her work and how humour plays an important role. She also recalls her meeting with Australian author Colleen McCullough whose portrait she painted (and which was shortlisted) for the 2014 Archibald Prize.

All the paintings we mention in the show are reproduced in this post so you can see what we’re talking about!

Current Shows

Show notes (links to things and people we talk about in the show)

Frozen Assets 2016 110.5x110.5cm

‘Frozen Assets’ 2016 110.5×110.5cm

JBraithwaite,Social Climbers,2016,oil on canvas, 196 x 196 cm copy

Social Climbers, 2016, 196cm x 196cm

Working Class 2016 190.5x190.5cm

‘Working Class’ 2016 190.5×190.5cm

Thought Bubble 107x91cm

‘Thought Bubble’ 107x91cm


‘Bright Spark’ 2014, 198cm x 198cm