Joella Wheatley


Joella Wheatley, 'Half Saved' Pen and acrylic on board 28x35cm
Joella Wheatley 'Fragmented' Oil, acrylic and pen on panel 28x35cm 2020
Joella Wheatley 'I'll Be Here Always' � 2019
Half Saved
Pen and acrylic on panel
28 x 35cm
Oil, acrylic and pen on panel
28 x 35cm
I’ll Be Here Always
Acrylic and pen on panel
30cm diameter

Artist statement

I’m intrigued with the idea and definition of simplicity, and how most expressions and thoughts can be simplified into an uncomplicated but visual description. Artists have spent decades conveying emotion within artwork, whether it’s through the movement of figures, chaotic scenes or the fluidity of brushstrokes being created on the canvas.

A question I constantly ask, is how to visually paint a moment of feeling without physically illustrating it with that exact emotion? For example, painting a person crying when conveying sadness? My work explores this question by taking these moments and simplifying them. Where humanisation is taken away from the visual aspect and you’re left with the relationship between inanimate objects within a space that is unidentifiable. These works explore their associated human reactions, whether being feelings of contentment and happiness, or the moments of darkness and loneliness. The landscapes I form, provide a sense of silence, to convey these moments and feelings. I enjoy exploring the quietness of a place where each painting finds its own narrative, attached with metaphors and moments of mine. Although these moments could be anyone’s, I hope the viewer will find there’s within it.

The majority of my paintings are an intimate size, measuring no larger than 45cm. This allows me to bring the viewer in, where only one person can observe it at a time. My surfaces have always been made from stretched canvas around an unconventional shaped board e.g. hexagonal, giving stability and allowing the viewer to not be restricted with a traditional framed rectangle. My paintings have recently evolved into using wooden panels, resulting in an organic look, where thin layers of paint build up, latching onto the grains. I now also use a combination of lines and dots drawn onto the surface. This combination of materials and techniques help create a delicate and structured landscape, allowing me to focus on very specific details. These landscapes and colours have been inspired by recent trips to places such as New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and the Lake District.