St Agnes artist Jo Polack was inspired to create two series of work; ‘What Lies Beneath’ and ‘Its Another World Down There’ after Chris Whitworth’s talk for St Agnes Marine Conservation Group. She says she was ‘blown away by the vibrancy and diversity of life below the waves right here along our coastline’.
As the inspiration struck for these textile hangings and panels at a VMCA event, Jo was keen to donate a percentage of profits of sales from these original works back to the VMCA to help in celebrating and conserving this coastline. Jo says she always knew this coastline was special and has been creating work based on her sketches and explorations of our coves since she opened her studio in St Agnes but she ‘owes a big thanks to Chris Whitworth for opening her eyes to the stunning ecosystem beneath the waves that sparked this particular creative journey’.
The first series was commissioned for exhibition at Archie Brown’s, Truro. The second is ongoing; the first piece selling only moments after it went on the wall.
‘What Lies Beneath’ consists of four hanging panels depicting underwater cliff walls, anemones, sea fans and coral. It is handmade felt with machine embroidery.
‘Another World Down There’ are framed horizontal works. They are truly mixed media; screen print and dyed fabrics layered with upcycled foils and masses of stitch work. Having worked in environmental education and environmental arts Jo is always keen to re-use materials and keeps reworking left over fragments from her various processes until they can’t be used any more!
Although not a diver herself Jo is endlessly fascinated by marine life and the colours of the sea and can’t get enough of swimming in Trevaunance Cove and roaming the rockpools there. Although using some artistic license is inevitable, she hopes her work does some justice to the beauty of our natural marine environment and can in turn inspire others to remember how important it is that we look after it.
Jo currently works from her studio gallery in Peterville, St Agnes (Known to some as The Old Laundrette).All are welcome to pop in and visit Tues to Fridays and special Saturdays! “Jo has transformed this space into a ‘light riot of colour and a homage to the natural world!” (Quote from visitors book)