Jo Howe

Book Artist, Paper Artist and Painter

Please click any image to visit her various portfolios.

Jo Howe artist book artJo Howe artist paintingsJo Howe artist paper art
Jo Howe artist

Jo paints and works with paper but her primary medium is antiquarian books, using these as sculptural objects and playfully reworking their formal components. She obstructs the original narrative in order to afford the reader of the artwork minimal linguistic stimulus. In essence this simplifies, clarifies and quietens interaction so that the reader's response can be heard.

All of Jo's work is driven by her interest in human communication and consequently, miscommunication.

Jo selects 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 their human presence is essential. The book or page becomes a tool for looking inwards to our evolving personal narratives rather than the read contents of the book as text. She consciously works with the text to render it difficult to read, if not at times almost absent. 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. In physically exploring text, removal of text, the page, book and restructured cover, Jo seeks to construct alternative narratives, which in turn generate new meaning.

Jo has work held in collections both nationally and internationally.

Jo has formal training, a BA (hons) degree in two dimensional design and a Masters degree in graphic communication.

As well as being an artist, Jo is also a creative consultant with The Funky Pie Company supported by Hertfordshire Music Service, specialising in working with young people with Special Educational Needs. Her priority is to enable personal expression and as much independent choice and action as possible. As part of this role, Jo has trained as an Arts Award™ advisor for all levels and is the sole assessor for this project.

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