Creativity in the Social Space.

Jo is a visual communicator, artist, collaborative designer, lecturer, founder and managing director of an inclusive arts studio.

Motivated by the relationships between people, creativity and environment she created this space to share her knowledge and skills surrounding inclusion, collaboration and social engagement in the arts. Jo believes that meaningful access to the arts is not only important for everyone, in terms of individual wellbeing, therapy, belonging and self expression - but is fundamental to our collective existence.

PHILOSOPHY & APPROACH

JO'S CREATIVE INTERESTS have always steered her towards a curiosity about people, the social systems that help or hinder us and the role that art plays throughout our lives. The language to describe an artist who works with people keeps changing (a separate discussion to be had elsewhere!) So perhaps she is a socially engaged artist, perhaps an inclusive arts practitioner, or even a community artist. Either way the key ingredients are people, art and environments. Sprinkle in an emphasis on learning together through collaboration and a spoonful of questions to challenge norms and assumptions - and that should give you a taste of what to expect.

Her research explores the relationships between art and design, product and process, communities and communication. An MA in inclusive arts practice focused her research around the combined experiences of being a commercial artist with her knowledge of working with marginalised groups. Her contributions to the field of Inclusive Arts practice continue through her academic teaching and research (at University of Brighton and various research and visiting lecturer positions) as well as her dedicated and passionate involvement in community based activities - through setting up, collaborating on and supporting several not-for-profit and enterprise arts projects. This combined approach provides valuable, first hand insights into ways of working, and reflections on ways of working, that drive her practice and research interests. This space allows her to combine her knowledge and share those reflections; offering specialist support and resources for other creatives or arts organisations who find themselves in need of something to help navigate the sometimes complex spaces where we bring people and art together.

BACKGROUND

JO HAS BEEN WORKING IN ART AND DESIGN alongside diverse community groups since 1994 and as an Inclusive Arts Practitioner since 2010. She initially trained as an Illustrator (BA) then as an Inclusive Arts Practitioner (MA), is a Senior Lecturer in MA Inclusive Art Practice at the University of Brighton and external examiner at Portsmouth University. Founding business manager and co-ordinating Director at Rocket Artists’, an artist-led CIC social enterprise supporting neurodivergent and learning disabled artists.