Joanna Ham is a British photogram and mixed media artist whose work seeks to capture and express the power of human sentiment. Her pieces – whether based on objects, people or animals - are borne of a desire to harness the emotions that surround us every day.
Joanna gained a BA in Fine Art with a specialism in anatomy at The Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford University. She has exhibited with Liberty London, The Other Art Fair, London Design Festival, Billy Name, The Serena Morton Gallery and Modern Art Oxford.
In 2016 her work was selected for the National Original Print Exhibition by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. And in 2018 she was shortlisted for the Global Rise Art Print Prize and awarded the Aviva Women of Future Arts and Culture Prize.
Joanna's latest collection of photogram screen prints are intricate botanical studies manipulated and redrawn to depict more than just their form. Each flower portrait seeks to subtly characterise human emotion, exploring how we express ourselves and in turn inviting the audience to do the same. Every piece will be read differently, depending on the viewer’s individual context and sensibility.
Joanna draws inspiration from many sources. She’s long been fascinated by the psychology behind the giving of flowers. Typically, it marks an occasion in life, be it joyful or sombre, and the act itself has become symbolic. It’s a culturally-accepted expression of shared, frequently unspoken feeling, and this became a starting point for many of the prints in this collection.
There’s also a visual nod to the Dutch still-life movement, which interrogated and blurred the lines between scientific accuracy, beauty, and the supernatural. Subjects were placed on a pedestal and often bathed in light, separating them from reality and creating a sense of fantasy. Adopting a fresh take on this aesthetic, in her latest work Joanna seeks to reinforce the authenticity of these imagined scenarios. Although highly unlikely in the most literal sense, they are still completely believable.
Process is key for her and she enjoys mixing both traditional and contemporary techniques, always through a monochrome lens. She photograms hundreds of flowers to find one that unlocks an idea, and then sets to work redrawing, editing and digitally manipulating to create an entirely new form. Once complete, the image is transferred to silk screen and the final print is pulled by hand.