Finalising work for Turn The Page 2015

It’s been a busy weekend finalising work for Turn the Page 2015. I am really excited again to be a part of this fantastic event. I always find something unexpected, exciting and really rather delicious to experience, I am sure this year will be no different.  Are you coming? If so, don’t forget to say hi… I will be there both days.

Jo Howe Book sculpture Jo Howe Book sculpture Jo Howe Book sculpture

Well worth the visit!



Delighted to be featured in ‘Hertfordshire Life’ – The secret lives of books

@hertslife pg1 Jo Howe

Absolutely thrilled to be in this months ‘Hertfordshire Life‘, a three page article by Caroline Foster. A really well written article… she has definitely ‘got me’ and my work, how lovely!

@hertslife pg2+3 Jo Howe

Also highlights the current show ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone – Taking paper beyond the page’ at the beautiful setting of Parndon Mill gallery, Harlow.

Closing Event – Easter Monday 6th April 2-4pm

This will be the last day of the show and all exhibiting artists will be on site between 2-4pm as well as an African Drum group (including yours truly) to provide some uplifting vibrant music on the green (or in the prioject space if the weather is against us). Do come along if you are free… this should be fun, (dancing is encouraged!).

Link here

Work selected for MMoFA

Jo Howe book sculpture distortion-of-time-detail
Distortion of time (detail) – Museum collection, Madison Museum of Fine Art

I am thrilled and absolutely delighted to announce that I have been fortunate enough to have had a piece of work (Distortion of time) selected for the permanent collection at Madison Museum of Fine Art, in  Madison, Georgia, U.S.A.

The work will also be exhibited as part of a group show next year, entitled ‘British Intelligence’ at the Museum, showcasing their growing collection from British Artists.

A little about MMoFA

Founded in 2003 by Michele Bechtell, the Madison Museum of Fine Art (MMoFA) is a 501-c-3 tax exempt charitable not-for-profit educational art history museum with exhibition galleries, teaching gardens, Museum Store, and Tea Terrace. A collecting institution, MMoFA  preserves, interprets, and imaginatively displays original works of art by nationally and internationally recognized visual art masters in a lively, intimate, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere for the education, edification, and spiritual nourishment of all persons living and traveling in the Southeastern US. As an educational institution, the Museum offers free permanent and traveling exhibitions, lectures, film, educational programming, and an extra classroom setting to study original objects to supplement the inter-disciplinary curricula of public, private, and home schools in the region.


The vision of MMoFA is to be a superbly operated internationally respected intimate visual art history museum system with a distinguished permanent collection, self-sustaining endowment, habitual visitation, engaging and well-attended educational programs, and to do so with sufficient institutional strength to delight many generations to come.

Considering the marks of removal – Memory, Loss and the Human Condition

I work extensively with a 10a surgical blade for most of my work. It is my most trusted tool, and has become intrinsic to every work I do… whether that is apparent in the final piece or not.

But I have started to question, what about the sharp precision of that cut line? Its clean definite mark conveys something… but does it really convey what I want in this current work? How would it be if the marks were a little more… uncontrolled, rougher, dirtier?

I have worked with burning before… but never with so much risk. The previous work to have received such a treatment, has been the finishing touches in controlled situations, where the burning can only travel a certain way until it has to extinguish.

This work is a little different. The singular pages are not treated before being introduced to the heat. It is difficult to control the timing and pressure of contact to create marks that are legible and at the same time preventing complete obliteration of the page, save for the ash at the end (I have a fair few examples!).

This is a process that feels right and appropriate to the themes behind the work. It is not fully resolved as yet, but, I feel, important to document these none the less.

Memory landscape - work in progress

Work in process – Memory, loss and the human condition

Snapshots from new work in progress exploring memory, loss and the human condition.

‘The human condition encompasses the unique features of being human, particularly the ultimate concerns of human existence. It can be described as the unalterable part of humanity that is inherent and innate to human beings and not dependent on factors such as gender, race, culture, or class. It includes concerns such as the meaning of life, the search for gratification, the sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, and the awareness of the inescapability of death. In essence, the human condition is the self-aware, and reflective nature of Homo sapiens that allows for analysis of existential themes.’ – Wikipedia

Memory landscape - work in progress
Memory landscape – work in progress
Memory landscape - work in progress
Memory landscape – work in progress
Memory landscape - work in progress
Memory landscape – work in progress


Gallery updated

Finally got round to it… the gallery is updated and includes work currently being shown at Parndon Mill gallery, ‘Nothingness‘.

Self fulfilling prophecy
Self fulfilling prophecy

This must mean I am at that stage of developing new work.

Very excited to be back in the studio.


Nothingness – New group exhibition at Parndon Mill, Harlow

‘Nothingness’ includes the work of five artists with links to Digswell Arts: Hideki Arichi, Ella Carty, Jo Howe, Alex McIntyre and William White. These artists respond to the theme of nothingness using a variety of media: Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and Drawing. Originally inspired by an edition of ‘Start the Week’, a BBC R4 programme in which the idea of ‘nothingness’ was examined from different perspectives, these artists bring their own creative insight to the subject.

For Alex McIntyre ‘nothingness’ is a leap of faith; the emptiness into which inspiration rushes. Nothingness is difficult to comprehend because the very act of considering it changes it. It is glimpsed at the periphery of consciousness: both before and after, ecstasy and grief. For this exhibition Alex is producing drawings that question human states of being.

Ella Carty’s work is a personal exploration of the existential state of ‘nothingness’. Her paintings of landscapes evoke a sense of both isolation and stillness. There is a sense in which these empty and seductive landscapes are both intriguing and unsettling. Her use of colour and its capacity to entice emotion is striking. Ella says ‘I wanted to convey a sense of unreality as well as detachment, to communicate a sense of how it feels to be in a state of nothingness.’

Jo Howe explores the notion of ‘nothingess’ by exploring emotional responses to ‘the space in-between’. Jo’s practice focuses on the frustrations of human communication working with old manuscripts that bear the physical imperfections and aromas of past human handling and thus retain elements of their human presence. 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.

William White is a printmaker based in Cornwall. His take on ‘nothingness’ is a study of the satellite dishes at Goonhilly on the Lizard peninsular in Cornwall, which are currently in the process of being recommissioned. Goonhilly is a cluster of satellite dishes known for receiving the first ever Trans-Atlantic satellite TV images, broadcast by Telstar in1962. These gigantic structures, seemingly staring at nothing were perfect inspiration for the title ‘nothingness’.

Hideki Arichi is a British born Japanese artist. He is approaching the idea of ‘nothingness’ by reading Eastern philosophical interpretations found in Zen Buddhism and by identifying personal reactions and indicators to these. The work includes paintings, drawings and prints.

Private View – Sunday 10th August 2pm – 4pm all welcome. Map here. Other times please check gallery for opening times

Nothingness poster final

New work – unexpected inspirations

I am currently working towards a group show, opening in August at Parndon Mill Gallery, Harlow.

The theme of the show, ‘Nothing’.

In exploring what this means for me, the mind has wandered down dark alleys as well as through light port holes.

Whilst experimenting with materials, I had the fabulous Ludovico Einaudi playing in the background, as I often do when in process.

For some reason, I hadn’t really heard this piece, even though I must have heard it a hundred times before. All of a sudden, it literally took my breath away… resonating with what I was exploring, syncing so beautifully to my minds journey.

The difficultly is, I can understand this expression through my physicality, and with some words, but the visual is just that little way out of reach.

So looking forward to the time when I can clearly bring this into view.

For best experience, play loud with eyes shut.

Extraordinary and exciting process!