Joanne B Kaar

Joanne B Kaar – Lead Artist

Joanne uses traditional (often forgotten) skills and natural materials to create her art. She has exhibited all over the world and is inspired by landscape and heritage. Click here to visit her website.

Joanne became interested in lichens, after attending a botanical illustration course at Kew Gardens. Studying plants for botanical illustration involves a great deal of concentration, as the completed works are to be used as botanical record,  not just decoration.  On returning home, she found that her plant specimens had often wilted before she could draw them!  She then started to notice lichen, on rocks, walls and fence-posts. A whole new world opened up! 

Joanne was intrigued to find out, what, if any, differences there are in the variety of lichens found in Swaledale, an inland valley with a history of lead mining, and walks from her home on the north coast headland of Dunnet Head, Caithness. She wanted to inspire the people of Swaledale to go out and explore their landscape, looking at the variety of shapes and colours of lichens all around, noting what they grow on, from gravestones, walls, fence posts, to in amongst the heather on the moors.

Here are some examples of Joanne’s watercolours and ink drawings of lichens:

Joanne has been working with a group of local artists and crafters and with Years 5 & 6 at Reeth and Gunnerside Primary School.  She has taken them all on the same creative journey as she follows when creating new artwork. As Joanne studies lichens in her local environment, so they have been doing the same. The participants have been helped in their investigations by local lichen experts, Les and Sue Knight, who have kindly run introduction workshops with the group and at the school.

Joanne and both her groups are making garments that could be found on a peg rail, all inspired by lichens. Here is some of the work in progress:

Joanne returns for her final visit in March 2018 when the two groups will meet and share what they have created for the final exhibition.