Photo: Joanna Mowbray in Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Joanna Mowbray


My art practise involves the construction of sculpture, drawing and collaborative performance/dance work. The research is concerned with the relationships between three-dimensions and two-dimensions, physical reality and metaphor,movement and stillness,light and shadow, for: exhibition,interior/exterior sites and architectural spaces. Exploring shape, line, form, perimeter, position, in response to spaces within, around and in-between. My concerns are to construct work in harmony with the space in which it is to be located, whether it is a domestic, architectural, landscape or urban environment. To create spaces that can celebrate the location, and the constant changes of the surroundings, people moving, light and weather. Essentially for me, the sculpture is about creating forms that encourage contemplation, an awareness of changing natural light throughout the day, in and around the material form. The sculpture I make articulates light, shadow, darkness and internal/external spaces, these elements become metaphorically expressive in the work. The intention through making art, is to create a spiritual presence that has a timeless quality. To then, at times discover and create experiences of stillness and quiet. Initially I develop ideas in note books, drawing shapes and forms, often in response to the line, curve of the body or a natural form in contrast to straight more measured lines. The shapes are used both for large scale drawings and also to make patterns for the development and construction of sculpture. Rythm and repetion are also important constructional and expressive elements, which relate to sound and music. In early 2011 my work was installed in the ICC Building,Hong Kong for the Ritz Carlton Hotel on the 118th floor. I was commissioned by CE Sun Hung Kai Properties for the installation of wall based work, for three sites. These works were develpoed in response to the location and interior architecture, using forms that hang form stainless steel cables which were repeated across a given space changing the size of form,to imply a sense of depth and movement. Within the collaborative multi-disciplinary work, I am interested in exploring the relationship between form, body,movement and sound. In 2001, I became the founding director of Sculpture, Dance, Performance Collaboration Ltd. (SDPC), having been previously involved as artistic director of the performance work 'so far, so near'. (SDPC no longer exists) However more recently, together with Irit Bluzer,performance artist, we have been developing a new performance work 'StorRa' which began in Nov.2012 and has continued through 2013 to 2014. The 1st trial experimental performance of 'StorRa' was part of the event '25 Performance Art Platform' in Tel Aviv, Dec.2013. This work has not yet reached maturity and will be developed further during 2014 to include sound/music. Currently we are establishing venues/funding to support this new performance work in the UK and internationally. Influences : Landscape,Nature, Japanese art & culture, Minimilism, Sexuality/Gender, Contemporary classical music, Contemporary dance, English and North American art, own gender (Female) Career path 1985/86 Sculpture Fellowship, Yorkshire Sculpture Park 1985 Research Fellow, Humberside College of Higher Education 1983 Artist in Industry Fellowship 1978/79 Fellowship in Sculpture, Cheltenham Art College 1976/78 MA, Fine Art 1973/76 BA Hons Degree in Fine Art Received numerous awards,including a Henry Moore Bursary in connection with Yorkshire Sculpture Park,1991-92. Yorkshire Arts Awards - 1980, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2001. Combined Arts Award, 1999, for research and development of sculpture,dance,performance collaboration with video,music and phonic art. Awards for All, 2002, for S D P C Ltd. Sculpture and drawing included in private and public collections in Britain and Europe. Most prestigious commissions - a permanently sited, outdoor, stainless steel sculpture for the Halifax Building Society, 1989-'Side by Side': a permanently sited,public sculpture 'Far and Beyond' 2006, for Ashwood Business Park,Ashington,Northumberland,commissioned by One NorthEast,a regional development government agency. A private large-scale sculpture commission for the grounds of a house, was installed on site in 2008. In 2010 CE Sun Hung Kai Properties Group (via Walsh Greene, art consultants) commissioned wall based artwork for 3 sites in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong, China.These works were installed in 2011. 'So far,so near' Sculpture, dance, performance with music/sound, video, collaboration with performance artist-Irit Bluzer,choreographer/dancer-Andrea Buckley,composer-James Beirne,video artist-George Saxon,phonic art-Helmut Lemke. Performances and residencies at Rehovot Municipal Art Gallery, nr.Tel Aviv 2000 and Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax 2002. 'Surface Tension'(version 1) Performance and residence at Leeds City Art Gallery- Sculpture, Dance, Music, Collaboration with choreographer/dancer, Gregory Nash and composer/musician, James Beirne - commissioned by the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture, 1990. 'Surface Tension'(version 2) Performance and residence with Gregory Nash and James Beirne - commissioned by the Contact Theatre, Manchester, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park 1992. '5 x 2 Collaborations' - Choreographer/dancer,Gregory Nash and sculptor, Joanna Mowbray-Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, 1990. Work exhibited in galleries and sculpture parks both nationally and internationally. One person outdoor exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1985-86 and 1995-96. Exhibited in London,Scotland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, France, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Israel, Tokyo, Australia, Luxembourg, New York, Hong Kong. Currently sculpture is on show in Belgium, near Antwerp, at Tweede Natuur, Lia Schelkens Gallery: The University of York, Heslington Hall: Ashwood Business Park, Northumberland: ICC Building, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Hong Kong. Since 1978, employed as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, in Fine Art, at BA Hons Degree and p/t MA level,within Art Schools and Fine Art Departments in Universities,nationally. Appointed as Reader/Professor in Sculpture, Fine Art, at Hull School of Art & Design, University of Lincoln in 1998. External Examiner for undergraduate courses at University of Wolverhampton 1997-01 and Liverpool John Moores University 2002-07.

Location Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Activities Practice-based research, Public art, Private commissions
Artforms / type of project Drawing, Performance, Public Art, Research, Sculpture
Tags sculpture, drawing, performance collaboration