Print of The Month: May 2019

Jo Taylor Totem small.jpg

Jo Taylor, Totem

Date: 2014

Size (cm - unframed): 62 x 50 cm

Technique: Screenprint

Materials: Somerset Velvet 300gsm

Edition size: 50

Publisher: The Print Studio

Copyright: The Artist

Through direct observation informing her practice, Jo Taylor fluently captures both dynamic movement alongside the technical anatomy of her equine subjects. Her work is fuelled by an intrinsic knowledge of her subject, gained - in part - from many hours making studies uncomfortably stooped within stables in addition to attending post-mortem examinations within residency at a Department of Veterinary Science. The energy and fluidity to her large-scale work reflects a genuine compassion for the Horse, achieving both dramatic, thundering gallops and moments of quiet solace and grace.

“[Jo] knows her subject inside out, both literally and metaphorically. The transparency of her drawings is there in the musculature that underlies the outer appearance and in the way that the piece is constructed. These are not just drawings of description, these animals are alive."

Kip Gresham [1]

Linework and multiple layers can be seen in both her paintings and prints created in The Studio – flat paper is given a three-dimensional surface. Her approach typically assembles an almost skeletal framework to each animal using media such as charcoal, chalks, watercolour, acrylic, bitumen and wax. The loose lines add not only texture and volatility, but are also suggestive of the internal workings and structures under the skin.

“I try to capture a sense of their power and presence… I am trying to put muscle down and breathe life into the work, so hopefully the viewer can feel as if they can see the other side of the beast in my work – as though they can walk around it.”

Jo Taylor [2]

The true understanding of her subject is accredited in Totem, the lines of the drawing showing a tautness in the muscles as the horse pulls itself back in a skittish stance. Finicky and characterful, this striking portrait is another real example of the artist’s intimate connection to the Horse.

The print is an edition of 50 of which just a few copies are available for sale. For enquiries, please contact the Studio at In 2015, it was included as part of Daedalus Print Club of which more information can be found here.

Jo has worked with Kip and the PSC for a number of years generating a collection including both screenprint and etching. Last year she exhibited in several shows including The National Horseracing Museum and The Royal Academy as well as internationally in the U.S. and Dubai. Her work is represented by Thompsons Gallery, London.

Jo & Kip in The Studio

Jo & Kip in The Studio

The Studio will be welcoming her back to work upon a new print in coming months. Last month - in preparation for her return - the artist revealed exciting experiments upon Truegrain, the surface coveted by Kip himself that allows incredible texture, wash and detail to be achieved in print. Follow this link to her Instagram for a sneak preview.

Quotes & Information for this post is taken from:

[1] Watt’s Gallery Page

[2] Jo’s website

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Posted by Karina Sawyer