Artist Profile: Jo Lankester

ARTIST JO LANKESTER CREATES ABSTRACT PRINTS DRIPPING IN NOSTALGIA. ELLE PICTON WRITES.

Colour, line, texture and form – four components that are important in any artwork, but in the hands of abstract artist Jo Lankester they become imperative to revealing meaning and creating emotion. Through an organic, intuitive practice, Jo creates stunning abstractions of the Australian landscape.

Based in Townsville, Jo is constantly inspired by the region’s unique combination of dry and tropical landscapes and has been since she was young. “It’s like the landscape seeped into me, like a beckoning to belong or be present with,” says the artist. She finds it important to immerse herself into these surroundings before starting a work, to fully understand and gain an appreciation for the area.

Back in the studio, Jo relies predominantly on memories and feelings of nostalgia, occasionally referencing photographs of her chosen landscape. “I print the photos in black and white to separate myself from the literal,” explains Jo. This process allows her to recreate her natural world from her emotions and subjective understanding, redefining what the place means to her. She uses a number of printmaking techniques, building up layers and working until she feels she has portrayed the experience of a particular landscape. “Stitching and collage have started to appear in my recent prints,” says the artist. This added textural element only works to make each piece more engaging.

Ultimately, Jo does not recreate reality – she offers works full of movement and emotion that capture sensations, memories, and a lingering sense of nostalgia.

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