Jo Chapman is an established site-specific artist, working in the public realm on diverse projects, she has worked on large scale public commissions for parks, colleges, a library, hospitals, housing co-operative, as well as being commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society to make three sculptures and create an identity for the Fresh area at the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show, this included new signage, a logo and graphics. Jo has undertaken collaborative art and garden projects in France as well as commissions in India. Alongside her public projects she works as an arts educator facilitating workshops in galleries and community art projects. Jo has also lectured on foundation and degree level courses.
Currently based in both East Anglia and France, Jo has been a practising artist for over twenty years during which time she has gained a depth of experience in the varied aspects of delivering art, whether that is making temporary installations, exhibiting wall based works, teaching, curating or working on commissions. Originally trained in embroidery Jo began by selling work through galleries and private commissions. Following the completion of a Masters in 2004 she decided to concentrate on working on public art projects and commissions, the work is always site specific and with an interest in process whether by hand or industrial, technological processes.Her work also takes inspiration from the effects of time, the discovery of beauty in the unexpected, the imagery is sourced from a diverse range of subjects, sometimes from everyday encounters and incidents, translating these experiences through the process of drawing, into completed works.
The constant challenge of working within and defining a context for each new project is a core part of her practise, it provides the opportunity to take the work into new directions and new materials while at the same time building on already gained knowledge and experience. This way of working and being part of a team that can include other artists, designers, contractors, commissioners and the community is integral to her practise and is in itself a creative process.
At the core of Jo's work is drawing and an involvement in the ways that the act of drawing can be translated different and often unexpected materials, she views the steel sculptures as three dimensional drawings, how a line works in space. The research part of the process is important and drawing is always her starting point, as a way to explore artistic intents and ideas as well as investigating subject matter that is relevant to the location and the aims of the project.