Great start to a new year!

Variation of surface intensity-detail jo howe book sculpture
Variation of surface intensity-detail

Super delighted to have found out today that I have been once again accepted for Turn the Page.

Turn the page artists’ book fair is a UK and international exhibiting and selling platform for artists who are creating work that is inspired by the structural and conceptual properties of the book form.

The event is held over 2 days in the spectacular atrium
at the Forum, Norwich and is fast establishing its place amongst the top UK Book Art events.

Dates this year are Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd May 2014

I really enjoyed this excellently organised event last year. The quality of work on offer was very high, the artists engaging and exciting and the visitors were just lovely!

Looking forward to May!



Fingers crossed!

I have finally got some new work to completion, just in time for a submission deadline (fingers crossed). There is something quite interesting about completing  work and then not having long to sit with it before it leaves the contemplative space that is my studio. I tend to sit with my work and communicate with it for some time after it has been completed. It is not necessarily that the work shifts. I think it is almost an honouring exercise, a re-engagement with the work from more of a distance than when in the throws of process, offering alternative perspectives.

This does have it’s downside of course. I have been ‘honouring’ a piece of work now for about a year! It is just not ready to leave. I am listening to that wisdom… some day it will be ready, perhaps.

Variation of surface intensity

Book pages, wooden chest, pyrography, acrylic boxes.

Pyrography text on box reads…

From the core, an eruption of significant emotional magnitude penetrates the outer shell.

The outpouring is chaotic yet strangely structured, but always hard to predict.

The waves of internal detritus and debris are powerful and all consuming.

Those close enough to witness this explosion are never unaffected.

All ground beneath us shifts, cracks and dissolves the solidity that holds one upright.

The vibrations are felt for hours afterwards, slowly but surely their magnitude dissipates until, eventually, all is still.

This stillness, an uncomfortable calm, both quiet and loud in its silence.

Eventually a soft noise breaks into one’s consciousness, like a chink of light cutting through the rock that veils the valley floor, illuminating our path.

The reality of one’s very existence? Perhaps the way forward?

Pandora’s Box

Book pages, apothecary jar, cardboard box.

Good conversation and other reading structures: An adulteration of truth through incessant alteration Jo Howe Book sculpture

Unexpected diversions

So, I have been able to get to the studio a little more of late, which I can say, is a real joy!

Something has definitely shifted recently, and the impact on my work for me is very noticeable. I seem to have given myself permission just to create without questioning, and that really feels right. This has generated new paths and a slight redirection in approach.

Many developments in current works are occurring, including getting ridiculously over excited about my latest purchase.


I Love its worn, haphazard appearance, the sense of its history.  Absolutely perfect to complete an ongoing work.

I have today, spent the five hours marking out text on this little beauty. I am very excited about getting this piece to completion. Not long now I feel.

I have, noticing this quite unusual behaviour for me, that I have been working on three different pieces at the same time.

This one popped up, quite unexpectedly. It seems a bit of a diversion from the other work on the go, and yet rather delightfully, I have a sense of the connection and cohesion in my thinking.

Good conversation and other reading structures: An adulteration of truth through incessant alteration Jo Howe Book sculpture
Good conversation and other reading structures: An adulteration of truth through incessant alteration

Note: There are multiple ways of ‘reading’…this is a playful exploration of this idea.

And my little book cups (for want of a better term). I continue to experiment with these forms, and I continue to be  fascinated with the addition of water to the work, the impact on the reading of the work as it evolves over time, the shift of balance between object and residue.

Experiments Jo Howe Book Sculpture
Cups (experiments)
Experiments Jo Howe Book Sculpture
Cups (experiments)

I think these will grow into a larger piece that will become almost its own performative piece…

All I need is to find the right book for the work and the location to show this…

There is wisdom everywhere…

I believe in a  wisdom in what we do, how we behave and what choices we make on a sub conscious level and yet, so often, that wisdom’s clarity eludes us.

Occasionally, it slaps us right in the face!


Sometimes, we can gain a greater understanding  on reflection, when you are not swamped with less useful brain activity… but sometimes, not.

Never Tries #1
Never Tries #1

Sometimes, we create in what appears a void, and yet, we cannot exclude ourselves from the process.

Never Tries #2
Never Tries #2

And that process… well, we just have to trust in it, no matter how scary that can be.

Never Tries Dr Monium #1
Never Tries Dr Monium #1

Sometimes we just have to trust in the process, else would we ever start out on the journey in the first place?

Never Tries Dr Monium #2
Never Tries Dr Monium #2

Some random musings for some rather random, if not slightly intriguing work.

Never Tries Outpouring
Never Tries Outpouring
Jo Howe Book Sculpture

A little serendipitous photography

Isn’t it strange … if we can just respond to  impulse without question … what may be the outcome? Not to stop and question, but just do. You may end up with nothing exciting at all or It may sing to you in joyful voice or perhaps, make you groan inwardly. Whatever the outcomes are (and many of mine are languishing at the depths of the rubbish bin) there may be some that you want to capture for examination and enquiry… these are a couple of  those moments.

Jo Howe Book Sculpture

Quite fascinating the choice of angle for the photography…. I didn’t read the text on the pieces until I looked carefully at the photographs…


I think I need to let go a little more often!

Jo Howe Book Sculpture

Pages turned in Norwich – a review of Turn the Page 2013

Well, what a great time in Norwich, and what a great place.

I have returned from my Turn the Page experience, a book artists heaven. On offer, a plethora of amazing books in all their glorious forms for reading, viewing, engaging and interacting as well as poetry readings, storytelling and demonstrations.

I felt really privileged to have been selected to show here in the Forum, in the heart of Norwich, alongside such talented creatives.

This was the first time I had ever contemplated an art fair. It was a really useful experience, remaining connected to the work, rather than just dropping off and collecting it after an exhibition. I found it fascinating discussing my work with visitors, sometimes finding I was justifying the works existence, sometimes just delighting in the visitors engagement and reading of what was on offer. All interactions I found so useful for so many different reasons.

I was supremely humbled by one particular visitors response to one of my pieces, Internal Dialogue. Moved almost to tears, his engagement and reading of the work reminded me that art can result in pure unexpected emotions for the receiver. I have always believed in what I produce and if I didn’t, then for me it would not be worth doing at all.

I was also so fortunate to meet some really talented artists and delight in their work. Particular highlights for me were, Theresa Easton, Emma Lloyd, Nicola DaleJen Fox, Kate Marsden, Catherine Laura Ward and Lucy Baxandall.

Feel inspired… try this, the Summer Reads Book Art Competition

Look out for Turn the Page 2014… I feel sure it will again be an event not to be missed!

Jo Howe Exhibiting at ‘Turn the Page Artists Book Fair’ in Norwich 3rd and 4th May

Very excited to be part of this event. Looks like it will be a great couple of days! So, If you are near Norwich come on in and say hi.

Finally moving forward (or wading out of treacle!)

It really has been a ridiculous length of time since I posted sharing new happenings. Gosh, the old seasonal break and other such distractions really took their toll.

Now, leaving that parked, exciting news… I have been accepted to show at Turn the Page 2013 in Norwich 3rd and 4th May. Very excited about being part of what I understand to be a really great event.

Rather deliciously, this has helped stimulate an ongoing period of flow, that I am certainly riding till the last wave crashes.

I have continued with my first ever artist book, now all the separate works photographed by the ever talented Roger Dorey ready for the next stage of production (ok, so not clarifying the approach, because of course, way too much experimental options popping up for me to define a final solution just yet).

Sincerity book page artist book book sculpture Jo Howe
Sincerity pg1
Photography – Roger Dorey
Sincerity book page artist book book sculpture Jo Howe
Sincerity pg 13
Photography – Roger Dorey
Sincerity book page artist book book sculpture Jo Howe
Sincerity pg 22
Photography – Roger Dorey

Rather wonderfully, this process has also led me onto more experimentation, linking this recent ‘artist book’, my doodles, that most definitely keep me sane and a re-acquaintance with perhaps my original book art  inspiration Tom Phillips A Humument

Of course, I’ll be sharing some samples as that particular work grows, but at present, it is most definitely at the coveted nurturing stage!

And finally, I have just been appointed as a Director at Digswell Arts Trust, where I was fortunate enough to have a fellowship until quite recently. I am very excited about the way the Trust is evolving and feel completely honoured to have been asked to continue to be part of this great local organisation.

Exciting times!

Busy distractions

I have been somewhat preoccupied by other work lately, the kind that pays the bills alas therefore not being able to find too much time in the studio. When I have managed to make it in, all of my focus has been developing my first artist book. Ok, honestly, perhaps not completely ALL of my focus. I always need some necessary side steps to doodle, think, digest and return to the task at hand, evidence of this below.

Scalpel-doodle Jo Howe Book Arts Book Sculpture
Scalpel doodle
Scalpel-doodle Jo Howe Book Arts Book Sculpture
Scalpel doodle – ‘Dance’

I am actually very pleased with how the book has been coming along and indeed it is rather delicious seeing the sea of cut pages filling the desk at the moment.

Work in progress Jo Howe Book arts Book sculpture Artist books
Work in Progress

I have finally finished cutting the pages, and I have been slightly surprised as to how dark the narrative has become as the work has evolved. I am heavily influenced, of course, by the original book content, though I am always careful not to read the novel first. Reading the new tome, I can also see I have been influenced by current affairs.

I am now ready to mount them in preparation for photographing. So, if anyone can recommend a great artist book publisher, who maybe interested in a new artist book author, please do let me know.