Joanne Bloch

Joanne is an artist and writer living in Cape Town. Her collection -based work interrogates issues of consumerism and excess, as well as commonly held notions of value and beauty.

Joanne’s route to art-making was circuitous. After completing an Honours Degree in Development Studies in 1983, she discovered the limitations of the work available to her in the development sector, and turned instead to photography. She worked as a freelance photographer in Johannesburg and later in the darkroom at IDAF, the Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa in London. During this period, she also produced mail art and comics under the pseudonym ‘Wild Beast’.

In the 1990s, Joanne took development related photographs, worked as a journalist specialising in HIV, development and human rights related issues, studied art and began making and exhibiting art based on her burgeoning collections of small trashy objects. In 2004, she completed an MA in Fine Arts at Wits with distinction. She has been artist in residence at the National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown, exhibited on both solo and group shows in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and published several books aimed at children and teenagers.