Again and again I come back to place.
I am drawn to local everyday places seeking a shift from the non–place to the rediscovery of the particular in these places.
I make gestures in place that amplify and enhance our ways of knowing and sensing.
These gestures are small actions that confirm and enhance the quality of our connections with the world we are part of.
Through these actions we can experience a sense of interconnectiveness in everyday places. There is a phenomenological and holistic outlook in these gestures.
It is an enquiry into the knowing and shaping of place that I understand as presencing place.
Jo is an artist, researcher and teacher. She lives in Reading, UK. In 2014 she was awarded a practice based PhD in Social Sculpture and Contemporary Art Practice entitled Presencing Place at Oxford Brookes University. This was supervised by Prof. Shelley Sacks and Janice Howard. The research comprised of 45 Gestures in place.
Recently she has taught on the FdA in Creative Arts and Design at Reading College and contributed as a student mentor with colleagues from the Social Sculpture Research Unit in Oxford to the Creative Challenge, a UCA initiative.
In 2005 she completed an MA in Contemporary Art and Music with distinction also at Oxford Brookes University. She thrived in the interdisciplinary environment and the quality of our being in the world became central to her work. At the same time she started to teach Fine Art at Thames Valley University on the Foundation in Art and Design Course and the FdA in Community Arts.
She received a Whitley Arts Festival Major Commission to realise hereabouts project in Whitley, Reading, which included watching sunsets in a water meadow. She has also received Artplus awards for her work relating to wells and springs in Oxford.
In Jo's attempts to become more sensitive to place in her gestures she has found corresponding non physical (spiritual) practices valuable. Inspired initially by a seminar given by Arthur Zajonc she draws on contemplative enquiry and other meditative approaches. She is a dowser and is currently learning to be spiritual healer. These practices are in their turn informing new work in place.
She is a founder member of Figure Ground, an artist led group (with Katy Beinart, Jack Brown and Laura Krikke). Their current project is a Road Trip around Britain developing conversations with artists who can broadly be considered as public artists and are producing work now. The project is intended to reveal the types of practices being developed in response to our times with a particular interest in reaching artists beyond traditional funding streams and the less well known.
She co initiated hang on artists with jelly Director Suzanne Stallard that brought together artists across the Thames Valley and was a founder member of The Ideas Exchange, an artist discussion group that met at Ovada Gallery in Oxford in 2006-10.
Until 2003 Jo was running an artist led studio gallery, curating exhibitions alongside this she learnt some of the other skills artists need including customer services, banking and telesales.