“Joanna remakes the flotsam of rubber bands into meaningful forms. In her paintings, the bands are brightly coloured paths of light wound into planet-like spheres, hanging in a black void. Each rubber-band ball can be seen as a kind of mandala, representing the universe; as a small world emerging from darkness; or as accumulations of interactions that make up the rhythm of our days and nights.” Liz Driver, Curator, Campbell House Museum, Toronto.
“Joanna Strong has chosen to paint, ever so carefully, the modest subject of a ball of elastic bands. In a nod to the memento mori tradition of still-life painting, her subject is both beautiful – there is a wide range of colours and bits of text on the elastic bands – and transitory – elastic bands only last so long before they stretch and lose their usefulness. The outsized ball of elastic floats in a dark void that partially envelops the ball, lending it the quality of a planet floating in the cosmos. Compositionally, Strong has recreated the structure of a mandala, a circle within a square, underlining her transcendental staging of what would otherwise be a simple picture of the thrifty habit of keeping elastic bands in one handy spot.” Jurors’ remarks (John Armstrong, Faizal Anwar, Jayne Wilkinson) VAM40, Art Gallery of Mississauga
More paintings of rubber band balls can be seen in the Entanglement exhibition.