Day Dreaming - Mixed media on canvas
Forget me not - Mixed media on canvas
He's on his way - Mixed media on linen
It's him again - Mixed media on linen
Nasturtiums - Mixed media on board
Three men in a boat - Mixed media on canvas
We three - Mixed media on linen
Jo Oakley is a British painter and printmaker whose contemplative still life scenes are imbued with memory and a sense of nostalgia. Her sensitive works depict scenes of domesticity and are, in her words, "symbols of the celebration I feel for the women in my life past and present".
As a student Jo specialised in printmaking, but after graduating she progressed to painting. Looking closely at her paintings you will find the surface of the canvas is built up in layers of gesso and paint - with each layer showing hints of the layers beneath. The richness and depth of the final surface is like the memory itself.
The focus of many of her paintings is the kitchen, the heart of the house, and the objects within it - the table, the pots, cups and bowls - all of which have a sense of being deeply cherished and are vessels for the narrative she is telling.
Another key element of Jo's paintings is the views and landscapes glimpsed from an open window or doorway. Jo spends much of her time on the Kent coast and has done so since her childhood. The inspiration and nostalgia she experiences there are evoked in her work.
"Walking by the coast on a warm day in a delicate breeze enhances my senses and I seem to see the delicacies of the colour and shape of the landscape."
The objects seen on the horizon through the window also have a symbolism. Over the years the distant shapes of the sails at sea have come closer, and Jo explains that these paintings are about "love, loss and the contemplation of time passing".
You can contemplate these works for yourself here and in Issue 292 of Resurgence & Ecologist, as they complement Michael McCarthy's words on Nature and Joy.