Joni-Leigh Doran
The Wildness of Being

Art: Magnificence of Nature

Joni-Leigh Doran creates work deeply inspired by the beauty and fragility of the natural world.

South African artist Joni-Leigh Doran has exhibited her work as far afield as Singapore, but her heart lies in the natural world — its animals, landscapes and details. Her work explores this delicate space in a style that draws on traditional realism and reflects a very real depth of emotion.

Joni-Leigh Doran
Left: Fly Free | Right: Surrender

Joni-Leigh Doran trained as a graphic designer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and now works as an artist, predominantly in the traditional medium of oil paint on canvas and linen. She has always been drawn to horses, and these beautiful creatures feature in much of her work. Although mostly self-taught, Joni-Leigh did some training with renowned artist Ryno Swart in his later years. She is also significantly influenced by the Classical Masters, and her work brings together realism, deep emotional components, spontaneous brushwork, and nature-inspired subjects.

Joni-Leigh Doran
Cosy Bay

With a love for animals and the natural world, Joni-Leigh supports a number of NGO’s and non-profits through painting sales. These include the Nature’s Valley Trust; Lion Recovery Fund; David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation; and the Port Macquarie Animal Hospital, among others.

Joni-Leigh Doran
Between Dreams

All of Joni-Leigh’s work is influenced by nature in one form or another, but her latest collection sees horses take centre stage. The body of work, ‘Cognisance’, highlights the enduring and complex relationship between horses and humans. The pieces represent the magnificent creatures in a spectral light, a testament to those who have suffered at the hands of humans, as well as a sanctification of their deep, intuitive powers. The colour palette is muted and soft, but there is a real strength in the images, which raise the horses to the point of holy divinity.
Some consistent themes run through much of Joni-Leigh’s work — animals and natural landscapes have always inspired her, and she aims to portray both the beauty and fragility of the non-human world through her art.