Joanne Handley is interested in the power of image to interrupt the hyperreal and reveal truth about the ‘present now’. Located within existential, philosophical and poetic concerns, her practice draws from avant-garde cinema, celluloid stills, physics, and contemporary culture to critique the modern condition and speculate on social and political futures. She works across painting, photography and neon installation to create a democratised space in which language and image reside in a confluence of interchangeable meanings, questioning the veracity of their own idiosyncratic representation and agency as seer.
Handley has staged solo exhibitions in Australia and the US and participated in group exhibitions at venues including the New York Hall of Science, USA; Artists Space, New York; Contemporary Art Museum at the Institute for Research in Art, USF, USA; Stedelijk Museum, Roermond; Art House Tacheles, Berlin; Dynamic International Museum of Contemporary Art, Italy; Center for Maine Contemporary Art, USA; Wollongong City Gallery; Macquarie University Gallery; SoFA Gallery, Australian National University; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
She has been a finalist in the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award (2017); Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2017, '05); Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award (2016), Paramor Prize : Art + Innovation (2015); Blake Prize & Touring Blake Prize (2008,'09); Fisher’s Ghost Award (2015, '13, '12, '10) and World Year of Physics Art Prize (2005). In 2016 Handley was selected for Ten Artists To Watch, LACDA, Los Angeles by curators Arpad Kovacs (Getty Museum) and Peter Frank (Huffington Post). In 2015 her neon light installation 21 Breaths showcased as the feature artwork for Vivid Sydney’s Official Media Launch at the Sydney Opera House and was included in Vivid Path To the Future at The Seymour Centre, University of Sydney for Vivid Sydney Light Festival. Previously, her work has been included in a number of significant institutional exhibitions including Square One, Wollongong City Gallery (2012); (collected) women, Wollongong City Gallery (2007); Liminal Personae, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (2006).
Handley completed an MFA at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (2004) for which she undertook research in the United States. She has taught at fine arts institutions in Australia and the US and lectures at UNSW Australia | Art & Design and the National Art School, Sydney.
Joanne Handley’s work is held in private and public collections nationally and internationally.