Joanna Hopkins

Winchester School of Art Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design
Cumbria College of Art and Design Fine Art BA1996-1999

My work has always been strongly influenced by the American photorealist movement who use the photograph as subject. The earlier paintings were studies of old black and white snapshots - I was interested in how despite the way people present themselves, by masking over the superfluous to leave only the essential - the flesh, the underlying relationships within the painting are revealed.

As the paintings progressed the different materials I used became an important element of the work. To mask over carefully painted detail can be seen as a rebellion against the traditions of oil painting but I'm interested in making the materials work together. Gold Leaf brings value to the form, and gloss can be deep, reflective, and unforgiving in what it covers but can also enhance the quality of the original oil painting with its stark comparison.

I am always exploring how I can combine timely, restrained and carefully painted oil studies with a more spontaneous, even reckless approach - not to make any statements about how two such different styles clash but instead how they can work together to form a beautiful coherent painting.