Shortly after relocating to North Devon Jo began to meet artists who were interested in digging up and preparing earth pigments to use as paint. In Particular she met Pete Ward (firstname.lastname@example.org) who introduced her to a whole range of pigment colours that could be located along the North Devon coastline. The experience of digging up and producing paint in this way proved to be a revolutionary experience for Jo and a turning point in her practice towards working almost exclusively with organic materials and sustainable processes.
‘Discovering how deeply connecting it was to dig up earth pigment, such as 300million year old Bideford Black from an exposed seam on the coastline, was a turning point for me. It no longer seemed relevant to buy and work with plastic-based materials. Now the whole process of being in a landscape and understanding more about its complexity, discovering organic matter, the cycle of life, noticing the light, the darkness, the sounds – these are the raw materials and the art is about curating creative processes within the landscape that bring connection and challenge ideas of identity.
Central to my approach now to life and work is that I am part of the natural world and conscious that my wellness is connected to my relationship with the community that it is. My relationship to my human, urban community is also a vital and valid expression of this – as we become more and more conscious that the language of our transitions through life follow deep, unconscious farrows that connect us deeply to the story of our landscape…poetry and acts of art are the language connecting both. ‘
In 2014 Jo was invited by Katy Lee and Vincent Large of Courage Copse Creatives to work on their 3C’s schools heritage project (run in partnership with The Silvanus Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) based in their woodland. Over a period of 3 months Jo had the opportunity to learn more about the charcoal-making process and to research and develop ways of working with their charcoal to produce a charcoal paint. The resultant paint is based on a medieval egg tempera recipe, which produces a smooth, thick black paint, which is water resistant. As part of the project, Jo was asked to demonstrate to the school children and staff members how to make the paint and to show them different methods of application including simple printing methods and making and using natural paint brushes made from found materials in the woodland.
Projection work (sustainably powered)
Jo continues to investigate methods of working with organic materials – she is interested in creating projected images, made using organic materials, with which she interacts within a given landscape.
Jo is currently investigating water and fluid states