Joanne Coates is a working-class photographer. Born and based in North Yorkshire, she works across the North of England. Coates explores rurality, social histories of class, and inequalities relating to low income through photography, installations, and audio. She was first educated in working-class communities, and then at London College of Communication (Hons). Her practice revolves around process, participation, and working with communities. She is interested in questioning stories around power, identity, wealth, and poverty.
Coates’ work has been exhibited in the UK and internationally including at The Royal Albert Hall, Reveal-T Photography Festival, Cork Photo Festival and Somerset House. In 2012, she was awarded a Metro Imaging Portfolio Prize, a Magnum Portfolio Review and The Ideastap innovators award. In 2016, she was awarded the Magenta Flash Forward Top 30 emerging talent and in 2017, she was one of the artists working in Hull for the UK City of Culture. She is joint recipient of the Jerwood / Photoworks award 4. In 2020 Coates was commissioned for an artist residency at The Maltings and Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) and Institute for Creative Arts Practice, where she developed Daughters of the Soil, exploring the role of women in agriculture in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. It was exhibited at The Maltings in 2022 before touring to Vane Gallery in Gateshead. The small publication to accompany the work is now sold out. In 2022 she was announced as North Sea Artist in residence.
Coates work has been commissioned by The Guardian, The BBC, The Telegraph, Bloomberg, Insider and more. She was recently lead artist for a creative people and places project as part of Borderlands in Middlesbrough.