I’ve been a Community Art Facilitator since working with St Catherine’s Day Hospice 2007-2009. It’s immensely rewarding and inspiring work. I enjoy working with people, helping others to realise ideas, communicate and express themselves. I have worked extensively on reminiscence, art as well-being and participatory projects.
I see the benefits of creative work involving and celebrating community and shared ideas. Communal projects provide participants with the opportunity to be creative and share the responsibility for an artwork’s outcome and can be great for social involvement, lessening feelings of social isolation, participation is also great for general well-being and confidence.
I’m also Co-Founder of youth project Shape Your Culture, the project involves fostering self-esteem through creative activism. Participants reported increased confidence, self-esteem and motivation having worked with us and created their own magazines, films and social media campaigns.
West Sussex Library Service
Crawley Borough Council Arts Development
Royal Voluntary Service
Thomas Bennett Community College
‘I worked with Jo on a community arts project, she was highly professional and organised in her approach to and delivery of work. Her creative ideas were a real inspiration to the project and the older participants involved, this proved to be a valuable and rewarding experience for all.’ Kirsty Pattrick, WRVS Heritage Plus Project Manager
“Jo is so obviously talented, artistic and creative in her designs but the added value for us has been in the empathy and sensitivity shown with group members. This girl quite literally enabled a group of older people to create a town out of discarded rubbish. Simply brilliant.” Elizabeth Masson, WRVS
‘Jo’s vibrant and energetic approach with people living with life limiting illness is inspiring. She has enabled people to create art both individually and in groups that boosts confidence and morale and allows for creative expression and celebration in difficult times.‘
Michaela Morriss, Occupational Therapist
‘When I worked with Jo (in her role as a community artist) she was very professional and sensitive to the client group’s needs and circumstances. They were a particularly vulnerable client group with fragile physical and emotional health. We worked together on a six week project with the theme for the West Sussex County art exhibition. I felt Jo took the brief and used her professional skills and knowledge to create an exciting and innovative art project which everyone could access at their own pace and level of ability. As another professional, I really enjoyed working with Jo on the project. She has a lot of positive energy, is full of creative ideas and is very good at sharing these and putting them into practice. I particularly liked the way she was able to translate and apply her graphic design skills and knowledge with great effect to the project. I really look forward to working with Jo again in the future.’ Cecilia Bissessur, Community Craft Instructor, WSCC.