Jo Lewis

Ink, paper, plywood



Over the last year there has been a shift in my practice from working predominantly outside to working in the studio. Necessity by the lockdown, I have focused on the ebb and flow within us, breath, as both subject and medium. Using an ink solution on paper, manipulated by my own breath, the exploration feels more pertinent due to the nature of Covid-19. Our breath has become something to be held back and physically to be masked, something to be kept away from. Through these drawings, I have come to notice our inner ebb and flow as both incredibly empowering and very fragile, moving towards that constant interplay of strength and fragility within us. Each consecutive breath is made through a process of breathing an ink solution on to paper. In the process of making the drawing, the bubbles of blown ink wanted to cluster, to touch, to land aside and on top of each other. The small scale of the work, intimate in its proximity to the viewer is an invitation to that which is intimate, to that which touches, which seeks proximity. 



I am interested in using ink to explore energies, rhythms, and subtleties that underlie our environmental and physical existence. Nothing stays the same and it is these invisible forces that I explore. For me, un-erasable ink is the material with the endless nuance and subtlety to explore these forces, associated as it has been for centuries with both indexical practice and with artists who respond to the natural world. I consider the drawings to not be ‘drawn’ but made, and I see them as the result of a collaboration with things beyond my control in which I am working towards an essence, an imperfect yet visual record, holding a sense of irresolution at its core.


Jo Lewis is a British artist based in London. Trained at the University of Edinburgh and the École des Beaux-Arts, Valence, Jo makes ink drawings exploring dynamism and flux in nature. Recent projects include a large-scale installation in Beijing, and in London. Jo has exhibited both in the UK and Paris, and her work has been collected by institutions such as Hermès UK, the Moore London Collection of Contemporary Art, Ripple USA and the Royal College of Music.


Jo is an artist educator in the National Learning and Programmes department at the National Gallery, London and has been a visiting lecturer at London Film School since 2010. She has a strong commitment to collaboration and has worked on innovative interdisciplinary drawing projects with film makers, animators, screen-writers, designers, and musicians.


In Breath

SKU: 056