Joanne is a self-taught artist and mother of six, with five sons and one daughter as well as a doting grandmother. Joanne is a descendant of the Wiradjuri & Yorta Yorta Nations, located in NSW & VIC. Joanne’s Wiradjuri totem is the goanna & her Yorta Yorta totem is the turtle, which gives her inspiration to recreate throughout her artwork. Joanne began painting at 20 years of age and her background stems from running art stalls at markets & conferences nationally, participating in and creating street art murals as well as holding various exhibitions, completing commissioned works, teaching & educating through art
As a professional artist, Joanne utilises her skills as a means of education for cultural awareness, having experience working with both adults and children alike. This allows opportunities to deliver personal experiences and share her culture in art workshops and art therapy. Joanne was born & raised in Sydney NSW and grew up in the suburbs of Redfern and Waterloo. Joanne faced many challenges from a very young age, choosing not to become a victim. Choosing art, its meaning to her as an artist is deeper than paint on canvas. It tells of her stories, her culture & language. Joanne’s art is as contemporary as she is. As an artist she love’s to challenge herself, branching out to try new things artistically.
“My art means a whole lot of different things to me, first of all, it’s therapy. I found a way to escape and go somewhere beautiful even if my world is not feeling beautiful”.
Balgarra Designs is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated, by Joanne Cassady. The word Balgarra comes from the Wiradjuri language which means: “To Emit Sparks”, Joanne chose the word Balgarra because of what the word represents. To emit sparks, the beginning of something new, to ignite a fire. Through the symbolic meaning Joanne hopes to ignite a fire of understanding, education, cultural awareness and unification through her art to the world.