Joanne Braddy – Removing the Stigma Around Mental Illness

As a writer I understand the courage it takes to lay yourself bare on the page with words and it is no different with the world of visual art. Joanne Braddy’s strength and determination shines through her works as she pushes herself to paint from within. Her paintings, drawings and ceramic sculptures employ strong symbolic elements of dark angular lines, strong colours and anguished faces to portray inner pain, giving us a glimpse of the depression that Joanne has battled with for much of her life. By sharing her emotional journey, Joanne hopes that she can help move others toward a space of awareness and healing, and by doing so, begin to break the stigmas surrounding mental illness.


Strength - painting by Joanne Braddy

Strength – Joanne Braddy

“My paintings are an expression of my inner world. Through my art I’ve found the courage to break the silence.” Joanne Braddy.


Her foray into her creative began at a young age. As a dreamy and passionate child, Joanne found solace in drawing and in her twenties, she studied Visual Arts at TAFE where her teacher found her work unique and emotionally moving. This gave Joanne the courage she needed to begin working as a full time artist from her home studio in Brisbane. Joanne says, “I decided to push myself to paint what I felt. It was so hard to put these feelings on the canvas as with every stroke of the paint brush I was going through my emotions inside. But each new painting was a new journey I had to take.”

Broken Reality, Painting by Joanne Braddy

Broken Reality, Joanne Braddy

Joanne identifies as an expressionist painter, influenced by some great artists such as Joy Hester. In a similar way to Joy, Joanne focusses on human faces and eyes, bringing out intense psychological states. And we see more abstract elements like those such as Louise Bourgeois, another significant influence on her work.

In recent months, Joanne has exhibited work in the Wesley Church, Fortitude Valley in conjunction with Art From The Margins and Mental Health Awareness Week, and she is currently exhibiting at Aspire Gallery as part of Epic Assist’s #thefuturewewant collaboration, ending tomorrow 3rd of December.

“I have become a passionate artist only to paint the truth – no more hiding, no more silence, I’m not the quiet one in the back of the classroom anymore. I have learned to not give up, to listen to my own voice inside – it defines who you are.” Joanne Braddy – to Epic Assist.


Crossroad, Painting by Joanne Braddy

Crossroad, Joanne Braddy


Joanne’s authentic works have also been shown in multiple group exhibitions outside Brisbane, in Sydney and Melbourne. She was a finalist in both the Moreton Bay Art Awards in 2013, the Cook Hill Gallery “We Get By” Competition in 2015 and has received the People’s Choice and Highly Commended awards from Art From The Margins.


“It’s the everyday stuff I go through that I put on paper,” Joanne she told Art From the Margins. “A lot of my work is basically to make people feel more comfortable with their mental illness, to realise that they’re not alone.”

Broken Mind, Painting by Joanne Braddy

Broken Mind, Joanne Braddy


If you’d like to support Joanne and see more of her work, come in to the Aspire Gallery today or tomorrow

Epic Assist’s ‘The Future We Want’ Exhibition Event


Or see more of her works and follow her journey online here:

JBraddyArt on Facebook


Ali. x