“My name is Joanna Gilbert, and I am the Founder of The Hidden Voice Project and The Hidden Voice Scholarship Fund. I am also a professional full time artist and a single mother. For my first NFT solo show I wanted to create something that involved mothers sharing their stories of strength. I devised an online questionnaire and shared it across social media. I received responses from people in Canada, Africa, America, UK, Poland, France and Turkey. The emotional connection I got from these responses was profound. To hear these strangers share such heartfelt words of wisdom was a true inspiration.”
And so it was that Joanna Gilbert gave visuality to the voices of single moms by turning their narratives into brushstrokes, layers of paintings and shades of colors. Far from being obedient Madonnas or muted visages, Joanna’s muses – or, better said, heroines – are empowered single moms and their personal stories of strength.
Titled ‘The Hidden Voice’ Joanna’s digital exhibition on Artpool gathers six paintings each representing one powerful respondent. “The answers that became apparent made it obvious that we hold ourselves back so much.”, says Joanna, when reflecting on her survey. During a painting session that takes just one sitting and is permeated by transcendent music, she forms a kind of spiritual relationship with the canvas, her spontaneous and unpremeditated strokes painting naturalness, inspiration and potential. “What I am really passionate about is the idea of painting freedom and helping other moms feel freedom, feel liberation and alignment.”
Curated by Pauline Foessel, the exhibition is accompanied by 6 NFTs which are on sale on Artpool. Buyers who purchase a piece will own a digital work and also the original physical painting, with proceeds going towards ‘The Hidden Voice Scholarship Fund’, a program initiated by the artist to finance a course or a self-development program for single moms.
Joanna herself, was offered a scholarship to the business academy she is currently in. “We moms sacrifice ourselves so much and it is so subtle. Everything I earn goes to funding my family. But someone giving me a scholarship and saying ‘Don’t worry, I got it. Go and be the best version of yourself' is an amazing opportunity”. Mother of two kids and working in her home studio, she has been struggling to fulfill her creative vision whilst meeting the financial pressures of life.
Still, she did listen to her inner voice some years ago. In 2013, as her children started school and Joanna had all this time on her hands, she finally enrolled in the college she wanted to do when she was 18, UAL Chelsea College of Arts, and pursue her career in arts. “Back then, advised by my parents, I took a marketing degree. After working in a cool company and record label, I decided to put my career on hold to be there for my kids. Then, I didn’t know who I was anymore.” Joanna was the only one that could allow herself to live an authentic life. Canvas and brush started to represent the control of her being. She painted architecture and turned buildings into abstract paintings. Street art, spray and neon fed her inspiration.
For the first time, Joanna is creating NFTs out of her canvases. “I thought I would have to create something ‘cibery’, animated. But my work is so IRL, so I felt out of place with this NFT wave going on. Only when I started talking with Pauline, I understood I could keep creating my paintings and still work with NFTs”.
It is not hidden anymore: Joanna is glad to shout out loud she is now the best version of herself.
'The Hidden Voice' digital exhibition curated by Pauline Foessel is on view on Artpool until February 22, 2022. Click here to see the show or buy your NFT artwork of 'The Hidden Voice Project' on Artpool