For Jo Darvall, art and storytelling are intrinsically linked. A love of story inspires her work and invests it with tension and texture.
Whether she’s exploring a true historical narrative or a timeless fable, it’s the modern vibrations that interest her. The links between people and the ways in which we connect are key themes in her visual arts practice.
Jo is deft and agile; she adapts her medium and technique – even her exhibition venues – to meet her subject. Her versatility lends enormous scope and variety to her body of work.
Delicate, luminous chine-collé prints evoke an ethereal feel, while large scale Eugene von Guérardesque oil paintings are her choice when exploring historical gravity. She’s skilled in myriad techniques – from watercolour, acrylic, pastel and oil to encaustic monoprints, sculpture and installation – and has exhibited in such disparate sites as churches, long corridors, backlit warehouse walls and white-walled galleries. It’s little wonder that she’s been known to incorporate all of the human senses into her exhibitions – even aroma and taste.
A keen collaborator with other artists, Jo has exhibited in solo and group shows around Australia and in Singapore. She illustrated the art book The Rose, the Butterfly, the Bee and the Moth, by writer Jane Harrison, which also inspired an original score by Mimi Duo. The published book was collected by the State Library of Victoria in 2016.
Originally from Melbourne, Jo studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, receiving a BA in Fine Art in 1998. She established the Artists for Kids Culture Trust with fellow Roar Artists in the 1990s, and has raised over A$1M for charitable projects. Jo worked with Master Printer Kim Westcott and had a studio at the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne.
Since moving to Perth in 2009 Jo has continued to grow her art practice by distilling her ideas and uncovering new stories from the West – including those of Western Australian historical figure C.Y. O’Connor and his daughter, Kathleen, yielding two sell-out series and a travelling exhibition.
She works from her Pakenham Street Arts Space studio in Fremantle, and is an arts educator at Fremantle Arts Centre. In 2015 she was awarded the Mandjar Corporate Art Award and City of Belmont Open Art Award. Is a recipient of funding from the Department of Culture and the Arts WA in 2016, and 2017 to stage her exhibitions Nationally and Internationally. Her artwork features in the Janet Holmes a Court, Artbank, WA Water Corporation, Perth Crown Towers, WA Children’s Hospital and Credit Suisse Collections in Australia, and Private Collections in New York, South Africa, Hong Kong, Beijing and One Ferrer Corporation Collection Singapore.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
'2017 RAW Umber and Silk Manet Museum, Beijing
2017 All that is Changing Australian High Commission, Singapore
2016 Reckless Romantics Sagra Art Gallery Melbourne VIC
2016 Paris Bled into the Indian Ocean Art Geo Busselton Regional Gallery WA
2015 Paris Bled into the Indian Ocean, Merenda Contemporary WA
2014 Walking the Pipeline to the Waters End Moore’s Contemporary Art Gallery WA.
2014 Sensorium the Unfurling Sculpture Square, Singapore.
2013 Gemstones and Millstreams PSAS Fremantle WA.
2012 Big Sky Moore’s Contemporary Art Gallery WA.
2011 Artists who hale from the West, Substation Arts Centre, Newport, VIC.