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Joanna Kane

  • Photography
  • Postgraduate Programme in Art and Design

Tutor and Academic Leader at IDI, my background is photography, new media design and I have experience working on exhibitions as a visual artist, as well as producing books and commissions.

My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and I have worked on a series of photography and new media design commissions. These include the Alt-w Award with New Media Scotland for a project reflecting contemporary digital culture, and the Photo-ID art and science exhibition funded by the Wellcome Trust. My work has been displayed in public and private collections including the Scottish National Galleries, Hayward Gallery London and MONA in Australia.

With wide interests across both art and design, photography and new media have offered me a platform for working across the traditional disciplines. As an online tutor, I’m excited about the potential of online learning for creating genuinely new and innovative approaches to visual communication education.

As a lecturer, she has worked at Edinburgh University on the Art and Design Studies programme, Edinburgh College of Art, and as a visiting lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts, Gray’s School of Art and the University of Gloucestershire.

About my work

The Somnambulists (images 1 – 5)

“The Somnambulists (available to purchase) is a haunting series of photographic portraits taken from a famous collection of phrenological heads now on loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Using digital techniques, Joanna Kane reaches into the past to bring figures from Scottish history to life. Animating her portraits to suggest an illusory sense of the living subject of the cast, Kane magically renders photographic likenesses from before the age of photography.

The life or death mask is in many ways the sculptural analogue of the photographic portrait. Both suggest direct traces from life, involve positive and negative, and evoke a mysterious connection between a living, breathing subject and a captured image.

Through her photographs Joanna Kane has taken these subjects out of the categories and hierarchies of their phrenological context. They no longer appear as disembodied scientific specimens, but as photographically embodied portraits of individual men and women – many of whom lived before the invention or popular use of photography.”

– Scottish National Gallery

Cloud People (images 6 & 7)

“Cloud People is a project that looks at identity and networks in the age of cloud computing. Joanna’s work often draws on both visually based historical research and related investigations in new media. Giving visual form to the shifting nature of contemporary digital identity, Cloud People holds up a mirror that allows us to contemplate increasingly personal thoughts, intentions, and desires that have become downloadable, traceable and inerasable.”

– New Media Scotland

My greatest achievement

Creating and publishing a book, and experiences of exhibiting internationally have been exciting experiences, which have informed my tutoring and support for students in working towards their own individual achievements.

My inspiration

Working with IDI students from all over the world and seeing the diverse and innovative work produced by online art and design students has been incredibly inspiring. One of the most fascinating and rewarding experiences of tutoring at IDI is seeing such a diverse range of exciting art and design work developing from all around the world and from different parts of the UK. IDI student work also reflects an amazing variety of personal perspectives and narratives, each one completely unique and giving a sense of each student’s individual journey.

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