Joanna Woodward, also known as Jowonder, is a multi-disciplined artist and writer, she tells made up stories about things that are, and aren’t real; seeing most things as magical including science.
Currently focusing on painting and writing which uses an improvisational approach similar to the process used to make her stop-frame animated films. Her films have been screened on television and in festivals world wide; winning the Grand Prize at Zagreb International Festival of Animated Film, The Time Out Film Award, and Best Debute Film at the British Film Awards; they are also noted by mythographer Marina Warner, are a part of the BFI Collection and included in The World History Of Animation.
'Animation, like a mural or piece of street art was something which could bypass the elitism of a mainstream gallery and yet still be challenging and visceral. When my first animated film was shown on television I was thrilled, it felt like the last frontier; we didn't have the internet in those days.
I believe that the spirit of playfulness is the most important element in any artwork, when we are playful our egos get out of the way. My animated films created via stop frame animation, are made large scale or so small that they require a magnifier to animate. My work is always inhabited by protagonists constantly on the verge of a self-revelation provided by the fragile materials from which they are made. These protagonists, coming from nothing and being insubstantial, create a sense of suspense, the only way for them to keep going is to welcome the spectres into which they enter and embrace them as a part of their self.
Today, when confronted by science; (I think), this must be the place of enchantment which I seek.'
In 2007, I embarked on the '6 Days Goodbye Poems Of Ophelia' project. The project is a living painting in bacteria, a re-telling of the story of Ophelia's death depicted in John Everett Millais' oil painting; seeing her death as a form of beautiful transformation a return to the land. The work uses the movement of live bacteria for animation and was created in a sterile laboratory,(commissioned by The Wellcome Trust, science by Dr Simon Park), the poetic soundtracks to the animations are created by the public and some of the international poetry soundscapes are currently still in process.
Flatlanders (2007), an animated video installation premiered in Guildford Cathedral alongside a debate which included Dr Brian Cox and Jim al Khalili, 'Is Science The New Religion?' The work referenced the ancient Greek character of Themis,in connection with the experiment at CERN, incorporating sound taken from the The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
Jowonder And The Psychic Tea Leaves, is an audience interactive performance in the manner of a mock Victorian Séance; using humor as a central device, incorporating improvisation. A chosen member of the audience drinks a cup of tea -and the process unravels. Some venues have been: St John on Bethnal Green, Cabaret Futura, Courtyard Theatre and End Of The Pier Show, live music chronologically by: Billy Smith, Jowe Head, Ansuman Biswas and Andrew Hedges
For a recent interview about my work see: http://internationaltimes.it/interview-with-artist-jowonder/
At the 'Portfolio' tab above some of my visual art and animation, which is in several international public and private collections, can be seen.
More of my animations, which are a part of the BFI and the Lux Collections, can be seen by arrangement.
Online film and performance can be viewed via youtube.