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About Me

Since a young age I have been passionate about art and strongly inclined towards portraiture. Having recently completed 3 years at The University of Northampton to gain a first class BA (hons) Degree in Fine Art Painting, I found I was able to explore my preoccupation with both realism and portraiture and progress as an artist on many different levels.

My most recent work has focused on the idea of the photograph providing us with an index for truth, and my attention to characteristically photographic details questions how the relationship between illusion and reality can become blurred. If a viewer perceives an image to have a strong likeness to a photograph, does this automatically become accepted as real? I aim to absorb the abstract shapes and lines created by the camera and manipulate them through painterly techniques and colour. My subjects are always people close to me, giving me a greater emotional connection with the image and affecting they way in which I see colour, eye contact and surroundings within a composition.

In 2008, my painting "Meral" was exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery's "BP Portrait Award", and have recently been involved in Tamsyn Challenger's "400 Women" exhibition, showing at Shoreditch Town Hall in November.

I currently work full time and paint whenever I have a chance, and take commissions regularly. Please email me for any requests, or follow me on Twitter, @joannayates http://twitter.com/#!/joannayates