Jo Neil



25 March - 4 May 2024


Blenheim Walk (Rotunda)

Visiting hours

By appointment

Jo Neil, Fragments (detail), 2024

Jo Neil, Fragments (detail), 2024

Location: Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Wak, Leeds LS2 9AQ

This exhibition is available to view from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday by appointment only for external visitors. Please email to make an appointment. Staff and students are not required to make an appointment.

'BB 04MAY' is a body of work exploring experiences; both personal and shared, through motifs and metaphors of disaster and moments of no return.

Jo Neil brings together narratives around events which are beyond our control and grasp: the challenges of an aging female body, small-scale catastrophes within the home, and life-changing personal events that on their initial impact are incomprehensible.

Through exploring the physicality and beauty of materials and process this sliding scale of somewhat violent events is softened and given humour but most importantly, made visible.

Starting with the idea of the Rotunda as a mixing bowl, the installation of the interconnected pieces within it creates an additional narrative. Are we entering the aftermath of a dramatic and irreversible domestic event?

'Fragments', the porcelain slip-cast eggshells, were worked on as miniature sculptural forms and ‘canvases’. The familiar pink ‘best before’ or ‘BB’ markings on eggshells are now recontextualised as markers of fertility. The floral motifs: red clover, walnut, and star of Bethlehem flowers are referred to as remedies for menopause symptoms, major life changes, loss, and distress.

'Drooping Whisk', two stitched cotton fabric forms with wire and copper, are an exaggerated and dysfunctional sculptural form at rest. This pair of whisks or beaters are potential tools for destruction and chaos. Their droopy physicality refers to a changing body that can no longer defy gravity.

'Disasters of home' is a series of 12 monoprints and paintings on paper and Perspex. The imagery draws on feelings, and a sense of impending disaster. Through mark making and found imagery of cataclysmic events these pieces reach for, and depict, moments that are inexpressible and not possible to return from.

The challenges that the Rotunda space presents curatorially have provided an exciting environment that becomes its own character in the narrative. This exhibition tests ideas and forms and brings together facets of practice that might possibly work together, have a dialogue, or resist each other.

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