Joana moved from Portugal to America to study art and biology at Carnegie Mellon University, which allowed her to work in the lab and in the studio. Her process includes a survey of research articles and news and contacting researchers to discuss their motivation and gather artifacts of their work. In the studio, Joana builds on these ideas to form questions about our concepts of self and our place in the world, usually in the form of oil paintings. A painting based on her work with Dr. Alison Barth was published as the cover of the Journal of Neuroscience (2005), supporting what has become her core motivation: that art can both support and contribute to science, and vice-versa. This has driven her work in science art and science education work since and has led to collaborations with galleries, schools and museums in Portugal and the USA, including the Andy Warhol Museum (2007), the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and the National Aviary (2010).
We are made of many parts, and many types of parts, some very old, some very new, working together, in parallel, redundancy or opposition. I’m interested in how biology unveils the natural discontinuity and boundaries of the body. I’m attracted by the taboo of accepting ourselves as multiple and unbounded. In the “Girls + Apples” series, the apple stands for every bit of cultural baggage we may want to put into it, an awareness of identity, difference, adulthood, the emergence of sexuality and more. In a series of encounters in private spaces, girls find, are found or share this knowledge.
b. 1981, Blaine, MN
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY