Jo Atherton works with found objects she has been gathering on the UK coastline these past ten years. For Jo, the tideline remains an endless source of inspiration which she reads as a temporary narrative, replenished with each rising tide. Her preoccupation with the plastic items she picks up stems from a curiosity and love of archaeology. Just as stone tools and metal fragments have been used to define cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will signify our own time, and through these forgotten fragments our own stories will be told.
A mixed media artist, Jo works with cyanotype, print and has devised a unique flotsam weaving technique which she has been practicing for almost a decade. Her work is intricate, uncanny and beguiling; familiar detritus repurposed in an unfamiliar aesthetic setting which never fails to demand a closer look.
Jo Atherton has collaborated with a number of national organisations including the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, the Cutty Sark, Natural History Museum, Bristol Aquarium, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and even London Luton Airport. The unique concept behind her work has seen her invited to speak at a variety of academic conferences and festivals including the University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Glasgow and Royal Anthropological Institute.
Jo was recently invited to exhibit work at The Bluecoat in Liverpool, building on a number of solo and curated shows. She has delivered a TEDx talk on the rich source of creative interpretation tidelines can offer, and has also seen her designs featured in a number of international magazines and journals. The broad appeal of her striking cyanotype images demand both an aesthetic appreciation and something much deeper, fostering a conversation around one of the most important issues of our time.
Jo has an MA is Cultural & Critical Studies from the University of London and BA (Hons) in English from the University of Winchester.