Joanna Moorhead is a journalist and author. She writes for a wide range of major UK newspapers and magazines, and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Observer.
In 2006 Joanna discovered a relative she had not previously known, the then 89-year-old Leonora Carrington, artist and Surrealist. Leonora had disappeared seven decades earlier, and was now living in Mexico. Joanna travelled to meet her, and went on to spend lots more time with her between then and Leonora’s death in 2011.
In 2017, the centenary of Leonora's birth, Virago published Joanna's account of her friendship with Leonora, and of the artist's extraordinary and eventful life.
The book, entitled The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington, was published in paperback in 2019 with an additional chapter, and has since been reprinted. It is available on Kindle and bookshops and Amazon. It has also been translated into Spanish (published by Turner).
Since Leonora's death her fame has grown, and there have been many exhibitions of her work, including a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City in 2018, and a new show is planned for Copenhagen and Madrid in 2022-2023.
The 2022 Venice Biennale is being named in honour of Leonora: its title is The Milk of Dreams, which is the title of Leonora's book of children's bedtime stories.