Joanna Dounis was born in Malta but left to work in Greece and Italy for 18 years before returning. She is an avid traveller and one of her hobbies is travel photography. Joanna says creativity has always played a big part in her life.
When and how did you get started?
…when I was old enough to hold and use pencils. I remember loving to watch my father, who was an architect, drawing, painting or making wooden models of his projects. As a teenager I studied art but later in life studied Interior Design, which has taken over for the past 20 years.
A few years ago, I purchased a seafront property and wanted art which reflects my love of colour and organic shapes without clashing with the modern, minimalistic style of the apartment and my gorgeous sea view (to me a picture in itself ). I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I decided to try and physically express, what I was seeing in my mind’s eye. After experimenting and pretty much spending all of my spare time covered in paint for the last couple of years, my passion for creating art has been rekindled.
I love the challenge of creating commission pieces that are dictated by a designated space and/or a particular colour scheme. I also experiment with different colour combinations, (which I will then use for abstract paintings), on coasters and other functional pieces.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
I don’t think I fit into any genre per se. I am not a traditionalist by nature and tend to do things differently from the norm. My style at the moment is abstract or semi-abstract and I work with acrylic on a variety of surfaces. However, I am not done experimenting yet. I have many ideas in my head and want to try my hand at sculpture and mixed media projects.
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Colourful, organic, abstract, fluid design, textural, acrylic and unique (hopefully).
Where was your first exhibition held?
An upcoming one in March 2020 at Wignacourt Museum in Rabat. Until then I often have potential clients come and view my art in my apartment studio.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
Even though there are some I like more than others, like a mother with her children, I don’t think I can pick a favourite.
What are you working on at the moment?
Preparing for an upcoming collective exhibition celebrating women artists.
Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
I can’t say I’m inspired by any one particular artist. I am mostly inspired by what I see around me in Malta and on my travels. Or sometimes I would get inspired by seeing a picture, even on TV.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A travel photographer sharing the natural beauty of this world and hopefully inspiring people to take better care of it.
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Success in what I set out to achieve and knowing that my children are happy.
What do you love about Malta?
The fact that my family is here, the mild climate, the quality of life, the sea all around us because I love islands, short distances and the gems of natural and historical beauty.
What do you hate about Malta?
The garbage, the noise, the traffic, the lack of parking, over-development, our skyline of tower cranes, corruption, and politicians who are doing nothing to protect our environment.
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
I love all colours because of how they interact with each other so it’s more about a colour palette for me than a particular colour. Having said that, if I were pushed to choose, I would say blue because I love natural bodies of water and all the different blues in lakes, rivers, seas and oceans.
What is Joanna Dounis’ favourite indulgence?
A delicious dessert after a meal. When I can’t get that… gin and tonic
For more interviews like this one we carried out with Joanna Dounis, go here
Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.