My interests include mapping, walking, public space, sense of place, layers of history and the power of objects. Developing from my original practice as a painter, I now create work, installations and interventions through a variety of media.
I began my exploration with landscape and the politics of landscape around 2004 when I became involved in the regeneration of Corby, Northamptonshire. I set up a number of creative projects running in parallel to the regeneration programme, to consider the effects of change on people living in the area. This included projects such as “Paths of Desire” and “Permission to Play”, exploring people’s rights to walk and behave in landscapes, the politics of land ownership, and the relationship of children and young people to urban environments.
My interest in perceptions of landscapes developed further when, from 2014-2016, I was Artist in Residence in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow until 2018. My work for “The Reliquary Project” explored ideas about animal bones, objects and landscape and how we perceive these, and responded to the processes of archaeological research at the University. Following this, I began to explore the idea of the Anthropocene, thinking about how bones and landscapes will appear to archaeologists in the future.
In early 2018 I began working on a collaborative project, Imagining Woodlands, a cross-disciplinary project with science, archaeology, literature and art to explore perceptions of forests and woodlands in the UK. This project developed as a result my University residency, but has expanded to develop strands with the University of York, resulting in a new taught module “Imagining Woodlands” for English Literature students. It also includes various creative activity in woodlands, with the University of Leicester, responding to and connecting to the environment through the senses and the creative exploration of scientific methods of environmental study.
I often work with museums, galleries and heritage, exploring the power of objects and landscapes. I work across the East Midlands, nationally and sometimes internationally.
Jo’s ClimateCultures posts