Artist and illustrator Joanna Henly, aka Miss Led, lives and works in East London. Obsessed with clean lines, curvature and arresting portraiture, she is perpetually evolving in the exploration of drawn and painted imagery. Her inspirations scale the Pre Raphaelites, Jamie Hewlett, Beardsley, fashion photography and 90’s street art.
With UK & international clients extending publishing, design, advertising & new media, she’s illustrated everything from book covers to advertising campaigns, covered walls in high end boutiques and incredible properties – live painted for events in London and Europe in fronts of thousands of people – her canvas, ranging from cars, barges and even department store windows.
Clients include: Lufthansa Airlines, Carlton Books, Ted Baker, Nike, Reebok, Diesel, Selfridges London…
Rebecca has exhibited widely including at the Royal College of Art, The V&A, The Mall Galleries and Cork Street. Although she mainly exhibits in London, she has also had shows in Oxford, New York, Palo Alto and Budapest. Her work has been included in many juried shows and was singled out last year amongst thousands to appear on the BBC2 show ‘Show me the Monet’ culminating in an exhibition held at the RCA’s Henry Moore Gallery. She is regularly selected to exhibit at the Cork Street Open Exhibition and the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibitions. She received the Winsor & Newton Young artists Award from the Society of women artists in 2011 and was awarded an Associate membership with them this year. As well as the juried exhibitions mentioned, she was selected to produce a piece for the Sun’s charity art exhibition/auction held at the V&A in 2010 and was recently asked to contribute a piece to the (100) Mothers exhibition curated by Harry Pye in which her work was exhibited alongside works by Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, Dinos Chapman, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chantal Joffe and Billy Childish.
“Beauty image and identity are the main themes running through my work, which primarily explores portraiture and the female nude. I deeply enjoy the shapes and lines of the human form and find myself in a constant state of analyzing, mapping, admiring and dissecting all the aspects of the many faces and bodies I encounter in my day to day life.
The perishable fleeting nature of beauty and time has lead me to a fascination with the mesmerizing power of images – their ability to not only stop the process of decay but simultaneously capture and crystallise the beauty of an instant in an idealised form. At their best, images can capture a pristine sense of yearning and desire, which the viewer can connect with on an instinctive almost primal level. In painting, images give me a base from which I can open up into zones of feeling, responding to these images on a purely visceral level of color, texture and surface. I am greatly excited by the random beauty of paint being allowed to take on its own form – and equally, the skill and precision with which it can be used to create illusions. Over the years of experimenting I have reached a point where I have begun to work more immediately with elements of control and chaos, exploring the ways in which images and illusions emerge out of – and recede back into – the raw material.”-RFW