Jo Gorner was born in Wigan, Lancashire in 1961 and studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University and later at Manchester Metropolitan University for her masters, she has been living in Yorkshire since 1991.
Gorner is a printmaker of restrained and often austere imagery exploring the intimacies of the geographical landscape. Using a sparse vocabulary, with a subtle colour range, she achieves abstract images which are strongly linked to a place. These are landscapes which have an intense, underlying emotional source.
Within the abstraction and simplification of the imagery Gorner intensifies the essence of a composition, and creates a tension evoking anticipation, imminent resolution and movement. The gentle precision and beauty within the work is considered with care.
Over the past 20 years Gorner has regularly travelled and worked around the west coast of Ireland and Scotland. In 2003 and 2007 she spent periods of time on a fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation on the west coast of Ireland in Co Mayo. The landscape here has intensely affected her work, the sense of being on the edge of the land, the seemingly infinite space when overlooking the sea and the vastness of the horizon.
Since 2004 the context of her work has been overlaid by the transition to becoming a mother. The landscape remains the same but her place of observation has changed, her perspective reworked.
Gorner completed her first degree in painting at Oxford though she has since concentrated mainly on printmaking, primarily etching. The process is an important part of the final image, the methodical rhythm and the gradual stages to completion. The acid adds a sometimes unpredictable quality and the lines have a crucial hand drawn quality, away from the mechanical. The quality in the lines of the final print sit softly on the paper, with a sensibility which reflects the inspiration behind her work.
2003 Development Award, Arts Council England, Yorkshire
2002 Fellow of Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo
Residency in Autumn 2003
2002 Nominated for the Jerwood Artists Platform award
2002 Research and Development award, Yorkshire & Humberside Arts
1998 Peel Holdings Award at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts Open
1995 For the creation of new work, Yorkshire & Humberside Arts
1995 Educational Workshops, Yorkshire & Humberside Arts
1994 Research into Open Access Print Workshops, Yorkshire & Humberside Arts
1991 For the creation of new work, Yorkshire & Humberside Arts
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Lowry Hotel, Manchester
West India Quay
Piece Hall Art Gallery, Halifax
Bankfield Museum, Halifax
Bury City Gallery
1996-2003 Free-lance public arts project manager, contracts include:
2003 Research for Calderdale M.B.C Public Art Strategy
1999 – 2000 Working for Bolton MBC to produce an audit of public art works, and related strategic developments, within the Borough.
1999 – 2000 Working for Wigan MBC to develop and implement Wigan’s Public Art Strategy.
1998 –1999 Working for the Economic and Physical Development Unit in Bolton MBC to manage the SRB2 Radial Routes Initiative Public Art Project
1996 - 2000 Project Associate for Public Arts, Wakefield.
1998 –2000 Housing Arts Officer for Bolton MBC Housing Department
1995 –1998 Visual Arts Outreach Officer for Wigan Metropolitan Borough.
1993 - 1995 Co-ordinator and development worker at Eastthorpe Gallery and St.Paul's Print Workshop, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
1991 - 1996 Young People's Art Workshop Co-ordinator at Eastthorpe Gallery, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
1987 - 1990 Co-ordinator and technician at Oxford Printmakers Workshop
Freelance teacher and visiting lecturer in schools and colleges, 1988 - 2000:
Teaching in a range of fine art based areas including printmaking, drawing, photography and paper making, in over 150 colleges, schools and community arts centres, to students with a range of abilities and ages.
Huddersfield Univeristy. Part time lecturer 2000/2001
Huddersfield Technical College, Foundation Printmaking 1996
Bretton Hall, College of the University of Leeds, 1995.
Bolton Institute of Higher Education, 1994.
Manchester Metropolitan University, 1994.
Huddersfield Technical College, YTS course tutor,1992-93
Author and researcher:
‘Art Box: Printmaking’ as part of the Creative Partnerships Programme of Continuing Professional Development for Teachers. Calderdale MBC. 2007
‘Printmaking Techniques’ commissioned by Calderdale Museums and Arts.1997/1998
‘Open Access Print workshops Throughout Britain’ a report commissioned by Yorkshire and Humberside Arts. 1994
Trainer for artists
Radial Routes Initiative Training programme for Bolton Artists, 1999.
Cultural Industries in Kirklees Vocational training programme, 1994.
1994 MA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University
1987 Bookworks 1, 2 Printmaking, Modules 1, 2, Oxford Polytechnic
1982 Batchelor of Fine Art, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University
- 2012 Littoral, An Tobar, The Tobermory Arts Centre, Isle of Mull
- 2012 a selection of work from the Littoral series, Flowers Gallery, 21 Cork St, London
- 2010 Erosion, Courthouse Gallery, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo, Ireland
- 2006 Source, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2005 New work, Strand Gallery, Aldeburgh
- 2002 Newby Hall, Ripon
- 2002 Jerwood Room, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
- 2001 Snow Gallery, Leeds
- 2001 Corporate Interiors, Interior design Practice, Leeds
- 1997 Bankfield Museum, Halifax
- 1995 Sige, Dean Clough Galleries
- 1990 Earth Rites, Malvern Gallery
- 2010 Abstraction, Strand Gallery, Aldeburgh
- 2009 New Works; 2 person show, Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
- 2008 Little Christmas, Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
- 2007 Small is Beautiful, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2006 Small is Beautiful, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2006 IFPDA Art Fair, New York, USA
- 2006 Havet Og Havne, Dronninglund Kunstcentre, Denmark
- 2006 The Bottom of the Sky/2 person show, Gallery Oldham, Oldham
- 2006 New Editions by gallery artists and associated printmakers, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2006 Contemporary Woodcuts, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2005 Small is Beautiful, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2004 Three Contemporary Printmakers, Flowers East Gallery, London
- 2003 Artfutures, The Contemporary Art Society, London
- 2002 Artfutures, The Contemporary Arts Society, London
- 2002 Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
- 2002 The Strand Gallery, Aldeburgh
- 2002 The Pearoom Centre for Contemporary Crafts, Heckington
- 2001 Bothy Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2 person show
- 2001 Art on Paper Fair, Royal College of Art
- 2001 Bankfield Museum, Halifax, 'The Narrative of Print'
- 2001 Wrexham Arts Centre
- 2001 Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
- 1999 Two Person Show, Piece Hall Art Gallery, Halifax
- 1998 Open Exhibition, Manchester Academy of fine Arts
- 1997 Terrace Gallery, Harewood House, Leeds
- 1995 Angel Intervention, Bury City Gallery
- 1993 Borderless Print, Rochdale Gallery
- 1993 Symbolism, Ikon Gallery, Touring
- 1991 Print News, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
- 1990 Printmaking 1990, Small Mansions Gallery, London
- 1989 Printmakers, Musuem of Modern Art, Oxford
- 1988 Open Print, Bankside Gallery, London
- 1987 Graves Gallery, Sheffield