Personal Statement

Born in Dunedin, I graduated from Otago School of Fine Arts in 1980 then moved to Marlborough in 1985.

Marlborough is such a wonderful place for me as a painter of landscapes, although the Otago landscape tradition continues to influence me, and probably always will. I have always constructed landscapes in my mind, from all the actual landscapes that I know. The mountains and rivers and plains are key elements, but it is the spaces between, the passes, valleys and pathways, that capture my imagination, as if they represent passages in life.

Through my paintings I am attempting to share the landscapes in my imagination and my frequent style of literally constructing the canvasses, piece by piece, is my way of drawing attention to the relationships between the parts, and in particular to the passageways between those parts. I find the act of creating the structures gives me time to reflect on my ideas and what I want to achieve within each individual piece of the whole work.

Alongside this, there are other things that take my attention, like joining the fight to save New Zealand's rivers from commercial exploitation and trying to save our native birds from extinction. The line between these things and my art work is blurred because my landscapes are celebrations of our precious land of which we are the guardians. We don't have any right to damage them. I don't want to make art that is about what we have lost.

Joanna Dudson Scott