Finding Words

Written by Kirke Raava

On February 20, 2018

Jo Howe returns to the delightful Parndon Mill Gallery, this time with her solo show, Finding Words.
Jo graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a first class Bachelors
degree (2004) and a Masters degree with distinction (2005). Jo was a fellow at
Digswell Arts Trust (2008-2012) and went on to be a Director and Trustee (2013-
2016). Jo’s work is held both in National and International Museum collections. Her
work explores frustrations in human communication, seeking to express the
difficulty of speaking without being heard.
“I select materials carefully by considering the aesthetic quality of text and
relevance of the book’s title. Working with old manuscripts that bear the physical
imperfections and aromas of past human handling and thus retain a human
presence, are an essential component. The book or page becomes a tool for
looking inwards to our evolving personal narratives rather than reading the
contents of the book as text. The fragmentation, removal and disruption of text
transforms words into visual clues. By resisting meaning in purely linguistic terms
the reader is invited to respond at an intuitive and emotional level.”
Over time, Jo’s work evolved to incorporate colour, first with paper cuts and now
with paint. Jo has always utilised colour as part of her studio practice and this has
been an essential tool in her working methodology. This will be the first opportunity
to view her paintings.
“We all have so many facets to ourselves, some that we are not necessarily
conscious of. If we can just let go and respond to the now, it is extraordinary what
may rise from within, to be seen, explored and sometimes understood. Colour,
form and movement expresses things that sometimes I do not have the words for. I
made those choices but with limited conscious thought. These choices mean
something, but I may never be able to uncover that meaning. This process for me
is delightful and intriguing all rolled into one. I see these works as what exists
before I have the words, if ever the words come”
Exhibition opens 22nd February -1st April,
The Private view is on Sunday 25th February from 2 – 4 pm. At 3.30 there will be a performance by Jo’s African Drum Group in the Project Space which promises to be interesting and enjoyable
Parndon Mill,
Essex. CM20 2HP

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