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Joanne Teasdale: Where they lived

Artist’s Statement:

As a visual artist, I am both a witness and a creator. I work with three mediums: photography, image-fused glass and photo realistic oil paintings. There is an energy that circulates between these processes and they influence each other. When I work with my camera, I select what will be created in glass and when I work with glass, I often consider how I will use the camera. This interrelation also includes my paintings: an atmosphere in a glass piece will find its way to the canvas and a painting concept will be transferred to the other mediums.
I look at the challenges, struggles and the resilience of people who are confronted with hard situations, the dominant theme being “displacement and migration.” The origins can be genocide, war, or an economic shift; and their consequences could be becoming a refugee, or simple traces left behind when buildings are vacated — where decay replaces a once vibrant life. An immigrant myself, I explore the significance of displacement with a personal understanding of what it is to create another home in a strange land and develop a sense of belonging.

My projects take place throughout the world. In Sarajevo, Bosnia, I am building a large photographic installation which includes testimonies and photographs of Bosnian people who made choices based on kindness while living in violent and dark circumstances during the 1992-1996 siege. I will integrate the collected stories and photos within the damaged architecture of the Marshal Tito’s military barracks. From the contrast created by the juxtaposition of these documented elements within the ruined buildings, a metaphor for “resilience” will emerge.

I am also developing a cross cultural photo documentary based on the relationship between women and water. Often, women are responsible for collecting the water their families need and, in some towns and villages, they have to walk great distances to access its source. This simple act, puts them in a vulnerable situation for violence, rape and kidnapping, which, in turn, will effect their families. By documenting this difficult reality, my camera and the recording the women’s ideas on finding solutions, will make visible that resilience waits and is lifted up in the shadow of difficulty!

Artist’s Bio:

Born in Montreal, Canada, Joanne Teasdale immigrated to the United States in 2006 and lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She studied in Canada, France and the United States, and holds a degree in General Arts, from Dawson College, in Montreal. She has also taken classes in glass art and photography from established artists: Catherine Newell, Carrie Iverson, Erik Whittemore, Silvia Levenson, Thomas Kulbowsky and Alex Masi.
Joanne Teasdale is a human’s rights activist and her work revolves around the challenges, struggles and resilience of people in different parts of the world who are confronted with the atrocities of genocides, war and the breaking down of an economy.

Teasdale teaches and lectures in glass studios, in the US and Italy, as well as at the Corning Glass Museum, Corning, NY. As a photographer, she has been on assignments for the One Million Bones Project, a large scale installation in Washington, DC, with the purpose of bringing awareness to the genocides of the world. She has also traveled to Srebrenica, Bosnia, where she documented the 20 year commemoration of the genocide that took place during the Bosnian war in 1995. Her photographs have appeared on several book covers and her work has been the subject of articles in a variety of magazines, including RFOTO FOLIO, Art LTD, Glass Quarterly, The Willamette Week, the Pittsburgh Tribune and Southwest Art.

She has exhibited in galleries and museums in Canada, France, New York, Santa Fe, Portland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Her work is also in the following collections: The Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung Foundation, in Munich, Germany; The U Place Corporation in Brussels, Belgium; and the General Trust Bank in Montreal, Canada.