“Post” Covid-19 makeover
Jo’s independent practice puts difference and ideas around belonging or forming community at the heart of events. Cultivated through face-to-face contact, Jo brings people together, it’s about connection and how we communicate or live together. In this digital weariness, Jo is researching ways to preserve intimacy without proximity. Devising ways to have impact on urgent social issues such as Black Lives Matter, her local neighbourhood, the arts place in society and responding to the foreseen poverty that will occur in the UK.
Neither Here Nor There was commissioned by Chapter and presented at Summerhall last summer and became a Late Recommendation for British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase. Sonia and Jo are continuing to develop the project including a digital performance for Dublin Theatre Festival called To Tell You The Truth. Next year’s plans include two outdoor residencies/community projects with Metal’s Estuary Project and Battersea Arts Centre. Just last week they rebooked, live in person, performances of Neither Here Nor There at Findhorn and Wellcome Collection, London.
Jo and Sonia are also working Rabab Ghazoul of Gentle/Radical, supporting her and the organisation’s important work for equality and justice, in particular for women of colour. www.gentleradical.org/
Jo has received Arts Council Wales funding not only look at a way to stabilise her creative work in this pandemic but also to start work towards changing the environment she works in. Wales’ organisations and artistic leaders are predominantly led by White people. Jo is part of the movement for changing and supporting new work by new people and for new audiences in Wales. Part of this work is an attention on existing organisations, many of which Jo has worked with previously, undoing, unlearning and rethinking processes and structures, from leadership to developing individual artists and how we educate and change almost, if not, Everything.
Jo has embarked on an international project with Secret Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. www.xosecret.org Collaborating with artists Dustin Harvey and Jacinte Armstrong and 4 further Wales and Nova Scotia based artists. The project is called The Spaces Between Us and explores how public spaces are used and occupied. How the areas around where we live can become charged and welcome to all. The ambition for the project is a Wales and Nova Scotia wide action to occur simultaneously in 2021 acknowledging the presence of minority communities in these countries. “We’ll all be thinking about where we live and how we live.”