Like the old masters she admires, the women in Joanna’s paintings are thin, with small breasts and rounded bellies. A snake grows from the body of one, another turns into a chameleon, and a third has pheasants nailed to her hips. Her paintings are full of symbolic objects and colours. She is fascinated by the history of iconography. ‘I study ancient text and symbols,’ she explains, ‘but I don’t feel the need to explain the symbolism in my paintings. I like the idea that everyone who sees the painting interprets it in their own way.’
She takes great care with the details in her paintings. When she paints fabric or jewellery she tries to follow the smallest details. Sometimes she uses props, but most often finds what she needs in albums, from Cranach for example she borrowed hairnets. She can sometimes spend weeks working on a pearl necklace or an embroidered satin skirt.