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Jo Bushell of Chalkblack

As a performance artist Jo works to create space for people to reconnect with the natural world, community and heritage (personal/local/global).  Her practice focuses on 'our primal urge to connect and create and the wellness that comes from this process'.  Having practiced as a performance artist since 1991, a freelance textile designer, and then worked in youth services and adult substance misuse services over a period of 16 years she has drawn from these experiences in order to develop a way of working which is accessible and dynamic.

Alongside performing and running school, youth, home education and community workshops (see website for further details*) she has spent the last four years researching and developing ways of using art in the natural environment to aid our transitional journeys throughout life. She uses immersive, experimental art techniques created using organic materials and projected images to guide participants through a series of engaging activities that begin at midday and end at midnight to mirror the phases of light and darkness with the phases of change we encounter within ourselves - creating powerful visual forms in wild spaces.

Born out of the experience of journeying through her own mid-life events and the life experiences of others around her (including issues with mental/physical health, loss of a partner, divorce, addiction, the shift into adolescence, changes in matters of faith, gender/sexuality, children leaving home etc) Jo has observed that the lack of recognition, understanding and preparation we have in our Western culture to face the realities of life leave us '...cut adrift to wander without guidance, without models and without assistance through the various life stages' James Hollis, The Middle Passage. 

Jo believes that art can enable us to understand ourselves on a level that talking can't and that it isn't necessary to have art training for it to be a powerful tool for anyone to use to achieve this.

‘Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.’ Carl Jung 

Jo's approach draws on Jungian theory and the work of Clarissa Pincola Estes, Sharon Blackie, Mary Oliver, James Hollis, Bill Plotkin, Joseph Campbell, Thomas Moore, David Whyte and Richard Rohr.

Jo is a Bristol based artist but often works in rural settings outside the city or in Devon.

  • chalkblack.com is currently under construction but is due to go live again shortly

 

 

 

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