‘You Move Me’ Artist Interview: Jo Lathwood

This is the final few days of our current exhibition ‘You Move Me’ which is open until Saturday 10 January.

As part of the show we have released a series of blog interviews with each of the artists involved. Below is the last interview in the series with Bristol-based Jo Lathwood – the lead artist on the ‘You Move Me’ project.

In this interview Jo offers more insight into her involvement in the show and her practice more broadly.

Jo Lathwood Studio MCSR-10

Jo Lathwood Studio Shot – 2014 – Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore 

Describe your practice in three sentences.

I make site-specific work that tends to be either a large scale structure that considers the audience movement and position – and encourages an interaction, or a sculpture object. These sculptures commonly are made from niche materials which reveal a truth about the concept behind the work. Play is essential to my work and development.

What themes and ideas interest you?

Curiosity – The universal drive to ask questions.
Process – How objects are formed, and with what materials and elements.
Journeys – Physical and emotional, human and natural. If it moves I normally get drawn in to following it!

Jo Lathwood Studio MCSR-20

Jo Lathwood Studio Shot – 2014 – Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore 

How did you approach the You Move Me project?

It was quite a systematic process after the initial conversations with Antlers – particularly about making a different mode of group show. I knew I wanted to create an arched pathway, so the first port of call was to research where the river lies under Bristol City centre. The transformation of transcribing the river to fit within the Create Centre – and designing a space for each of the artists – involved a lot of CAD drawing!

What themes or interests does your installation explore?

‘You Move Me’ focuses on the universal fascination of underground spaces and the romantic notion of a forgotten river moving silently under a city – with only road names as clues and historical maps as proof. The power of a river is vast. They divide countries, create mountains and provide water for life. When a river is moved by mankind to develop urban landscapes, what role does a river then play?

‘You Move Me’ aims to provide new viewpoints of familiar spaces and strives to create a head space where the audience can travel through the installation and create their own journey.

What was the greatest challenge you faced with the installation?

One word: Time. I have built many installations in the past, but this is one of the biggest things that I have constructed. The original timeframe for the exhibition shifted around quite a bit at the initial stages of the project, so I ended up with less time than first planned. This was made even more complex because the structure I was building was the back bone for the other artists work and for the lighting design. Due to some amazing work by friends and volunteers we managed to run everything to schedule but I definitely had to learn some delegation skills.


Jo Lathwood Studio Shot – 2014 – Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore

What has been the most interesting and/or surprising element of working on the project?

Seeing the realisation of each commissioned artists work. As I designed the pathway and had several drawings of the space, I had the best overview of what the project was going to look like. The pathway was purposefully designed so you couldn’t take a ‘step back’ and see where you were. But I knew I could never fully visualise the experience of walking through the space until it was built. Therefore, it was so great to see each artwork placed into the installation. For me, the artworks are the focal points of the exhibition – the destinations of the audiences journey.


Jo Lathwood Studio Shot – 2014

What would you like the audience experience of the work to be? 

Playful, engaged and interested. I also hope the installation and the artworks lead people to question more about their surroundings and their relationship with Bristol.

What would you like people to take away after seeing your work in the context of the exhibition?

That contemporary art can be an interesting way of exploring and communicating ideas.

ANTLERS YOU MOVE ME-68Artist Talk – 2014 – Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore 

Jo Lathwood: http://www.antlersgallery.com/artist/jo-lathwood

Exhibition Dates: 29 Nov – 23 Dec 2014 // 5 – 10 Jan 2015

Open Times: Mon – Fri, 10am – 7pm // Sat – Sun, 12pm – 4pm

For the full programme of events please see our Project Page: http://www.antlersgallery.com/project/you-move-me

Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with: #YouMoveMe / @AntlersGallery