New work – furthering unexpected process – Nothingness?

I have been beavering away in the studio working towards my next exhibition, a group show, Nothingness, to be shown at the beautiful Parndon Mill Gallery in Harlow 7th August – 14th September . It is truly a great theme to work on. I have found that my mind is bouncing around all over the place with possibilities.

How does one represent nothing? Does nothing actually exist, if it does, does that not make it something? ok, so slight mischievous glint in my eye here, but you get my point 😉

Wikipedia references it as…

‘Nothing is a pronoun denoting the absence of anything. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness. In nontechnical uses, nothing denotes things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance, or significance. Nothingness is the state of being nothing, the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing.’

My approach is examining the notion of ‘nothingess’ by exploring emotional responses to ‘the space in-between’. Still a somewhat untangible description, I know. I am refering to this in two ways really. The ‘space in-between’ can be perceived as empty (though of course isn’t technical so). The emptiness is more a emotional perception rather than a physical reality. This emptiness has darkness and light. The darkness could be considered perhaps a little more readily than the light. After all, the connotations of the word ’emptiness’ are mainly negative in flavour, consider if you will, this list of synonyms: empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous, bare, barren.

It is challenging the lightness of ‘the space in- between’  that has prompted a most interesting process for me.

I had recently posted about the influence of a particular piece of music by the talented Ludovico Einaudi.  I pondered my difficulty with the visual response of  my physical and written expression of this experience. Rather strangely, I have experimented with painting yet again, to bring this more clearly into view.

Nothingness process
Nothingness process

This work is not going to be shown at the ‘Nothingness’ show, but informs an important part of my working process. I have documented the stages of painting, each layer being photographed and recorded. This documentation I have reflected on, exposes for me the importance of  remaining connected to process. It is my experience of producing this work, the way I have moved my body, the choice of colour, the way this action makes me feel and the quality of marks that has stimulated the next stage of development.

Yes, there is still still a way to go, but very excited to have this record of an important part of the journey.

As a wee aside… when creating this, I had noticed the dust sheet I was using, rather delightfully revealed these characters. Of course they have been there before, but the process is allowing me to see with an open and enquiring mind (if not a little mischievous one at that!).

Thought i’d have a little fun with them… Enjoy!


Nothingness-cartoon Jo Howe
Nothingness cartoon

Alex McIntyre – Works On Paper Exhibition at Espacio Gallery, London McIntyre will exhibit in ‘Works on Paper’ at The Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch from 9th – 21st May.

An Exhibition that examines and celebrates the role of paper in art: 100 artworks from over 30 artists.

Private View: Thurs 9th May 6-9pm

Address: 159 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG London.

This will be worth a visit, especially to see the work of Alex McIntyre and her gestural mark making.

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By the Book: Stanford Kay

Another great find from the creative explorer that is Artsy Forager… This one especially appeals… For obvious reasons!

Artsy Forager

I don’t always read Artist Statements but sometimes one just describes the artist’s work and vision so perfectly that I don’t feel like there is any way my words can improve upon it.  Such is the case of New York artist Stanford Kay.  His artist statement was so completely lovely, I’d like to let him speak for his own work.

“At first, there is paint and desire. Paint is applied, removed, and applied again.  It makes suggestions. It is edited without mercy. The image and the need to signify arrive later. Books as images within these paintings offer formal modernist possibilities while also serving as an embodiment of content.”

“Both paintings and books are vessels for ideas, experience and memory.  The books we read and the paintings we love and choose to live with, 
define us.  A book requires the reader to assemble images and ideas out of its signs and symbols. Likewise, a painting asks that you translate its strokes and drips into…

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Sometimes you just feel it and don’t know why!

Ok, so sometimes I see work and think… ‘that’s not me, not my style and the subject matter is not what floats my boat but…..’ yes, I am really enjoying this, and sometimes it’s great NOT to know why!

See what it does for you…

Sage Vaughn - Ruby Throats
Sage Vaughn – Ruby Throats
Sage Vaughn - The Judge
Sage Vaughn – The Judge
Sage Vaughn - Ring Cycle II
Sage Vaughn – Ring Cycle II

More delights to be found at the home of Sage Vaughn