Joanna Lefroy Capelle grew up on a farm in northern WA. On leaving school she joined WA Newspapers Ltd as their first female cadet artist, working with the likes of cartoonists Cedric Baxter and Bill Mitchell, artists Bruce Wroth and Stewart Cownie and caricaturist Clive Gordon, down the corridor from the legendary Paul Rigby. She wrote and illustrated a half page of fashion for the Daily News and subsequently Sydney Morning Herald for several years in Perth, then UK and Europe while living in London for 3 years in the late 60’s. A highlight was covering the Couture Collections in London, Paris, Rome and Madrid.
She started painting with a box of oils for her 17th birthday, and apart from a handful of lessons with Wim Boissevain and Henry Froudist, is self-taught.
Her works are figurative narratives which focus with humour and sensitivity on the everyday and the complexity yet simplicity of human nature. Her ‘Woman With Balls’ series use body language and composition to create humorous metaphors for life and won her acclaim and a Lorenzo di Medici medal at the Florence Biennale in Italy in 2009. (See website: www.joannalefroycapelle.com)
After raising her children (now an Art Director and a budding rock star based in LA) in the Mundaring hills Joanna endured a divorce which triggered a sea-change to East Fremantle and a very mature-age degree in Fine Arts at Edith Cowan University. The following year she created her first Public Art Commission, a 20 meter etched cement render mural in Victoria Gardens, East Perth, for the East Perth Redevelopment Authority. The work, ‘Regeneration’, traces the area from its earliest Aboriginal inhabitants through to the arrival of Europeans, the horticultural and industrial phases of development to the current regeneration. This led to her second major Public Art project in1999-2000: 250 meters of etched cement render and natural oxide murals on the retaining walls of the Graham Farmer Freeway, at the Western Entrance to the Northbridge Tunnel. The narrative depicts the history of Northbridge from its early Indigenous people to settlement by Europeans, through the area’s various transitions, culminating in the thriving multicultural community of today. The last panel features the Indigenous AFL legend, Polly Farmer, handballing into the tunnel.
Joanna has held 21 solo and many mixed exhibitions throughout WA and in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Canada. She is represented in private, public and corporate collections throughout Australia, and in the UK, USA, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, France and Greece.
She currently lives in Helena Valley with her second husband, David Cameron, working on artistic projects and teaching in her studio. They travel regularly within Australia and overseas, gathering new material and inspiration for future paintings. She is currently rediscovering the joys of portraiture and life drawing.