Jo Paul is showing at Theatre of Wine

Arts Trail: Have you shown this work before?

Two of the pieces I am showing have been shown before – one is an Amnesty International commission. The rest of the work I have made specifically for this years trail – under the title of ‘Threads’.

Arts Trail: Have you taken part in the Trail before?

This is my first time exhibiting in the Leytonstone Arts Trail.

Arts Trail: Tell us a little about your artistic background / education.

I went to art college when I left school where I studied Graphic Design. After leaving college I worked as an art workshop facilitator and studied an art therapy foundation. I moved to London and started working in the arts sector and became interested in theatre and started to design set and costumes for small scale productions. I eventually trained at Laban Conservatoire and achieved an MA with distinction in Scenography.

I work as a theatre designer now and still facilitate art and drama workshops for all kinds of groups, even going to Pakistan to train artists to work with disabled young people which was an amazing trip. I have exhibited my personal work throughout these times in various venues around the UK.

Arts Trail: What kind of things inspire you to create art?

I make mixed media wall art and installations. I often use fabric and threads, and other media like latex and paint. My scenography background often influences my art practice and vice versa, I can take inspiration as much from an environment or space as I can the themes and concepts I am investigating. I am currently exploring connections, our sometimes confusing or conflicting inner relationship with ourselves and the outer, sometimes tentative, sometimes delicate, and sometimes severed connections we have with others.

Arts Trail: How would you describe a good day in the studio?

A good day in the studio is one where usually one or two pieces have been progressed to a place where I am happy with them or curious to see where they will go next.

Arts Trail: What challenges (if any) do you face in preparing yourself and your work for the Trail?

I am dressing the window of the shop I am exhibiting in and it has been a challenge to combine the concepts of my exhibition with the themes of the shop (The Theatre of Wine), but I have reached a solution that I’m happy with.

Arts Trail: Do you collect art?

I would love to but I have expensive taste. I have a number of original prints that are less price prohibitive and they all mean something to me.

Arts Trail: Please tell us something you really like about Leytonstone.

I like the community feel and friendly people. There are a lot of creative people in the area and that’s great.

Arts Trail: Besides the Trail, what is coming up next for you and where can we see more of your art in the flesh or on-line?

I have been working on a project with Battersea Arts Centre, South London Gallery and Oasis Children’s Centre, called Making Routes. I will have installations in these three places in a children and young people’s festival in October of this year.