About Joan Taylor
I was born in Devonport, Auckland, where I attended Vauxhall School and Takapuna Grammar. We felt privileged in living in such an enjoyable environment. The beaches and the ferries were part of our daily life and I was always aware of the particular character and beauty of Devonport.
After receiving a Diploma of Fine Arts at Elam I attended Teachers Training College and began my teaching career at Otara Intermediate and later at Rangitoto College. My family’s arrival meant a break of several years, after which I returned to teaching at Papakura High School.
The family moved to Wellington in 1967 and I joined the staff of Queen Margaret College where for the next nine years I was responsible for both Practical Art and Art History for classes from Form 2 to Form 7.
During these years I attended University Extension Courses and in 1970 I began to study Printmaking with John Drawbridge, and later with Vivian Lynn. By 1976 I felt the need of an extended period of study, so spent four months at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawaii taking workshops in Etching and Lithography. On my return I tutored etching workshops and in the next five years mounted six solo exhibitions.
On returning to Auckland in 1981 I continued printmaking but became more involved with Stone Lithography. I also started to paint again using watercolour as my medium. In 1987 I received a commission to provide paintings and prints for Puka Park Lodge in Pauanui, and in 1988 I worked in collaboration with Elizabeth Serjeant on a book “The Visionary”. This is a collection of poems by ten N Z poets with a lithograph as a response to each poem. This book won an award at the N Z Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington in April 1989.
As a result of my work on “The Visionary” I became interested in Book Arts and in Bookbinding. I attended workshops at the Auckland Technical Institute and have bound a variety of books and made a leather designer binding for my copy of “The Visionary”.
Also, on a study tour in 1990 I attended the first Book Arts Conference in New York and visited the homes and studios of several Book Artists.
Over the last four years I have been involved in establishing Printmaking classes at Mairangi Art Centre, completed a mural for the Children’s Hospital, spent four weeks painting in France and designed a Devonport Arts Festival poster.