Sitting appealingly in the window of a Creswick shop was a display of hand painted portraits, printed onto silk and linen cushions that were so curious, they invited the question of ‘who, what and why’. The portraits of individual rabbits in various poses are intriguing, not least because, whilst they are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s bunnies, they have an edginess far beyond the sweetness of Ms Potter’s creations. Speaking with the artist, Joanna Thomas it came to light that each character in the portraits is actually inspired for better or worse, by people from Joanna’s life. The portraits happened first, then Joanna decided that she could turn them into a craft with a view to selling them and has now extended her range to include bags and cards as well as producing custom portraits.
Meeting Joanna is like being hit by a force of nature, her enthusiasm for life and her exuberance soon becomes infectious, even more so when she tells of her journey in life. Looking at least ten years younger than her fifty-three years, Joanna has been a flight attendant, a kinesiologist and spiritual healer, survived advanced cancer and a marriage breakdown, then as a single mother moved from Mansfield to Creswick for her daughter’s education. Joanna says the move was one of the best things she has ever done, for both her and her daughter. Her rabbit paintings were suggested by her daughter and it was a friend who suggested that she recreate her paintings onto cushions using a cache of kimono silks. Her range is organic and develops with demand. To find a stockist, email Joanna at email@example.com.