Jo Clements


Artist • Jo Clements Studio

👍 Jo Clements is an artist based in Manchester
I have a fine art, practice based PhD and until recently I lectured part time on the MA Contemporary Arts Practice with Industry Experience at the University of Salford and was previously the Educational Director of Artists and Education CIC. Supported by a-n (The Artists Information Company) I completed the RD1st Coaching Programme and continue to support artists nationally through individual coaching and mentoring as well as for @artsemergency, a-n and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.
My artwork is centred on the futile search for certainty of understanding and perceived hierarchies of knowledge and my humorous, re-imaginings and re-appropriations playfully explore the complex relationship between putative information and experiential understanding through sculpture, film and installation.
My research draws upon archives, social media, numerical systems, art history and other established sources of knowledge to create work that questions accepted facts as markers of truth. Frequently sensual and often tongue in cheek the work exudes an ambiguous mix of the serious and the absurd. I was the overall winner of the Greater Manchester Arts Prize 2018 with my film, Unit For (2018) and was on the selection panel for the 2019 prize.
In 2017 I was awarded £15000 project funding from Arts Council England to work on my project We Will Never As Humans Be Able To See 360°. The project merges my sculptural structures with virtual reality to create multi-layered, immersive, sensory environments. Artists Sam Ingleson and Steve Oliver were commissioned by myself to create new digital content specifically for the project.
We Will Never As Humans Be Able To See 360° consists of 3 padded, copper ‘domes’ connected to Virtual Reality headsets. Each headset reveals VR content that weds a post-truth mix of disconnected information, actions without conclusion, frustration, confusion and manufactured associations. Experienced within the ‘safe’ dome like structures the works each create their own sense of dystopian unease, wonderment, desire and manipulation of information leading to a disruption of sequential understanding.
A major influence for this work is Stan Vanderbeek’s Cultural Intercom a pre-internet project that comprised a large portable dome that projected thousands of visual images with a vision of interconnected information exchange. Vanderbeeks optimistic outlook for a future where visual information was freely available to all now looks prosaic in the light of major technological advancements and the potential for VR and AI.

I enjoy making work that sits outside of traditional ways to view artists’ film such as the use of QR codes to show 100 short films or more recently by exploring how Virtual Reality can be used as a platform to exhibit moving image. I have also made films that are a comment on identity manipulation via online platforms and the manipulation and acceptance of standardised art world histories Obey On Kawara (you're my only hope)(2016)

My PhD focused on the examination and re-appropriation of archived moving image. This practice-based research explored processes and methodologies adopted by visual artists who use moving image archives as an integral component for the creation of new artworks. Underlying these methods of production are issues of originality, authorship and ownership.

Results of research undertaken as part of my PhD study have been published in the Journal of media Practice and in various conference publications. The resulting artwork created as part of my PhD ‘The 9 Archives Project’ has been realized as an exhibition and was shown at Federation House Manchester, supported by Castlefield Gallery, Manchester in September 2014. This research has been widely shared by a number of regional film archives at conferences, film presentations and on their websites and has been included in teaching materials at The University of East Anglia and Brighton University.
My written contributions to external research projects, such as Creative Partnerships and Engage have been published both in widely distributed evaluation documents and as online articles.

My artwork does not strive to tell a linear narrative but more has as its main preoccupation a desire to explore ways to interpret a mixture of truths, simulations and the ways in which we make connections between disparate stimuli even where there are none. Our unique human ability to make connections, to fill in the blanks where information is hidden or redacted and where the resulting uncertainty is often counteracted by the insertion of seemingly non relevant or unrelated information that nonetheless serves to sooth anxiousness and frustration is always my purpose for making.

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Artists Film, Sculpture, Installation


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