Jo Aylward

Jo’s love of landscape and the natural world really came to the fore when studying fine art at  the University of Leeds, based in the grounds of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Her work is devoted  to rural themes and the minutiae of the  smaller wildlife and flora that populate it. Living  in a small village in the south of England, her garden,  planted to attract wildlife, is her main source of inspiration.

Jo’s lifestyle choices directly impact on the work she makes and there is a nostalgic element to both –  concentrating on the simple, essential daily things which surround her.  Jo hoards small, quiet moments of interest: the sighting of a particular bird or insect, the striking shape in a landscape, or the particular colour of the sky over the churchyard.  These turn into ideas for paintings and are stored, sketched and remebered. The paintings combine  observation and ideas which allows the act of painting itself to determine the outcome.  With her carefully controlled yet glowing palette, Jo’s work follows a well established British tradition of intimate rural still-lives  –  but she brings her own deeply considered and refreshing vision to the genre.   She has exhibited her work in galleries throughout the UK including the Rowley Gallery, Kensington, the Gold Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh and Charleston House in Sussex and is fast establishing her reputation as an original and highly sensitive artist. We are really thrilled to be showing her work for the first time.

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Jo Aylward

‘In many ways my working practice has altered little during the lockdown period. My studio is a wooden building in the garden so I have kept on painting as normal. I am a dedicated gardener and lover of wildlife and much of my inspiration to paint comes from a relationship with the landscape and my garden where I grow bee friendly flowers and organic fruit and vegetables. Being at home has given me more time to dedicate to the garden and to feeding the birds.  Having travelled no further than our small village for two months, my connection to my surroundings is more profound than ever. It has been a simpler way of living, bringing me even closer to my preferred lifestyle, albeit in very sad circumstances’.
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