Growing up on the edges of Australian suburban sprawl, I have always been fascinated with how we relate to the natural world. Over the years I have used various techniques to explore this relationship including installation and assemblage, but my practice has mainly involved painting. I appreciate the meditative observational nature of this medium. Painting allows the time and space to develop a type of intimacy with the subject that yields great rewards. Painting also leaves a lot of room for interpretation and it is the meeting of pure observation with the inner life and conditioning of the art maker that I find the most interesting.

I have been painting botanical forms from nature for quite some time. In the last four or five years my practice came to focus mainly on Banksia plants and flowers, which culminated with “Floral Appreciation”, an exhibition at the Tweed Regional Gallery in 2019, exploring the potential of the Banksia as a symbol for contemporary femininity. (The video below depicts and give more information on this show.)

More recently I have focused on Banksia varieties local to Northern NSW and South East Queensland where I live. As these are mainly found on the coast it became a natural step to include their coastal surroundings in the paintings. Initially this took the form of ocean glimpses through the banksia leaves, but then expanded to include broader coastal landscapes, other types of coastal folliage and the ocean itself as a main subject.

My work is strongly influence by contemporary ideas about the natural world and our relationship with it. Many contemporary theorists, scientists and artists ascribe more sentience to natural entity’s like plants and bodies of water than has been done previously. The importance of the non-human is acknowledged and valued more these days as the essential value of all life becomes more obvious. In my work I search for ways to consider natural elements like plants and the ocean more like important entities with their own agency. They are protagonists in my paintings.


Born in Wangaratta, Australia, I studied Visual Art for one year at Box Hill Tafe, before gaining entry into The Victorian College of the Arts and completing a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting). Highlights from this time include being a finalist in the Wallara traveling art prize, winner of the Stella Dilger Award and receiving a special mention in the  Victorian Campus art prize.

I then continued informal art education in Tokyo for 2 years getting well acquainted with traditional and contemporary Japanese aesthetics and approaches. My work at this time focused on urban corners and natures impact on cultural forms.

In 2007 I relocated to Northern NSW where I became involved in the Murwillumbah Community Printmakers and the Murwillumbah Art Trail. I continued my painting study with renowned local artists, and have exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions. My work was highly commended in the Border art prize in 2013 and has been a finalist in several other prizes. In 2020 I had a successful solo exhibition at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery and Margaret Olley centre.

I am currently represented by Anthea Polson Art and have a Solo Exhibition ‘Wild Coast’ in October 2022

CONTACT: joak234@hotmail.com



2001 Bachelor of Fine Art, Painting Victorian College of the Arts
1994 Associate Diploma of Fine Art (1st year) Boxhill Tafe

Solo Exhibitions

2022 Wild Coast, Anthea Polson Art, Gold Coast

2020     Floral Appreciation Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley

Centre, Murwillumbah

2018     An exhibition of four local Artists M-Arts – Murwillumbah

2017    Nature Portraits Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina (October)

2009    Human Natures CPM Gallery, Murwillumbah

2006    Unrennovation Red Gallery, Contemporary Art Space,

Nth Fitzroy, Melbourne

Group Exhibitions

2021 Bloom Weswal Gallery, Tamworth 2020

2020.      Ordinary Love, The Field ARI @ M|arts, Murwillumbah

2020.      Hello Again, Lennox Art Collective, Lennox Head

2019       Facade, Tweed Regional Gallery, Downtown, Murwillumbah

2019 .     In situ, M-arts, Murwillumbah

2018 .     Metamorphosis, M-Arts, Murwillumbah

2018       An exhibition of four local Artists M-Arts – Murwillumbah

2018       Regenerate | Murwillumbah Art Trail – Murwillumbah

2017       The Flower Show M-Arts, Murwillumbah

2016       Botanicus Murwillumbah Art Trail, Murwillumbah

2015       Arts Northern Rivers Pop-up Tweed, Murwillumbah

2015       Murwillumbah Art Trail Prospero Street Pop – up

2009      Soft Landing Murwillumbah Community Printmakers Gallery

2008      The Door Snake Project Platform Artist Group. Degraves St Subway,


2006         Nicholas: The life of a Building, Blindside Artist Run Space,

Nicolas Buiding, Melbourne

2005         Inaugral exhibition Pigment Gallery, Nicholas Building, Melbourne

2001       Graduate Exhibition, Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank

2001         Wallara Travelling Scholarship, Finalists exhibition.

V.C.A. Gallery, Southbank

2001          Sources and Resources V.C.A. Student Gallery, Southbank

2000          For real, V.C.A Student Gallery, Southbank.

1999          Fringe Festival Architecture Launch, “City Consumptions Pty Ltd

Preformance/Installation.  North Melbourne Town Hall,

North Melbourne.

1999          Site Specific, “80” Installation, Langridge Street Collingwood.

1997         “Matters”, Solo Painting show at ‘Gluttony’.Collingwood.


2020 Finalist BAM Art Prize, Northern NSW

2019       Finalist Lethbridge 20000 Art Award,

2018        Finalist BAM Art Prize, Byron Bay

2018. Finalist Gallery 7 Art Prize

2017         Finalist 30 x 30 Art Prize. Art Piece Gallery

2015         Finalist Border Art Prize. Tweed Regional Gallery

2013         Highly Commended, Border Art Prize

2001         Stella Dilger Award. V.C.A.

2001         Finalist Wallara Travelling Scholarship

2000         Special Mention, “Victorian Campus Art Prize”