Jo Volley is a practicing artist who lives and works in London, is Senior Lecturer at The Slade School of Fine Art and has been involved in both graduate and extra-mural education for many years. Having created the Slade Summer School she was its Director 1989 – 2002. In 1998, Channel 4 commissioned her to co-write and present ‘The Mix – Art Store II’ an art series for 7-11 year olds. In 2002 she was a judge for the Barbie prize for children’s art. In 2003 she was invited to be Artist in Residence at the Usher Gallery, Lincoln. The residency was Heritage funded and The Friends of the Usher Gallery purchased the final commission, ‘The Moment’, for the collection. During this period she made a number of installation works, which were the beginning of an ongoing series of site specific installations titled ‘The Journeyman Works’. In this series are ‘Votive’, ‘Vices’ and ‘Forms’ shown at The City and County Museum, Lincoln. Currently working on a 2 x 4 metre gilded Jurassic limestone panel Silver Thread an Art Council commission for the museum.
The Alexandra Works, the most recently completed commission funded by NHS LIFT Hull, came out of a direct response to discussions and workshops with the community of Alexandra Primary Health Care Trust. A desire to make works that are timeless and pertinent to the present, that relate to Hulls historic past, it’s regeneration, the future of the children and the changing face of the area. They incorporate the technique of mosaic, particularly associated with the Romans and the use of gilded surfaces to welcome a stronger sense of light into the space. The use of the title Alexandra for the main mosaic was to celebrate the coming together of two practices and attempts to create an environment that is uplifting and enhances the experience of the inhabitants. As part of the overall NHS LIFT project she produced 3 digital prints for the collection, which incorporate images of Roman medical instruments, measurement and ideas related to archaeology and archiving.
In 2008 she began a collaborative partnership with the artist Henrietta Simson, Simson&Volley, dealing with installation, projection and sound. Mel Gooding, the well known and respected British art writer and critic described Simson&Volley ‘as a lovely dual-imagination at work between media, scales and dimensions, intellectually clear and uncluttered. A meeting of good and vibrant minds, not afraid of beauty as factor idea’. Their most recent works are a show of site specific installation, and objects spaces/places/senses/places/senses/spaces, for the Visual Arts College Portsmouth, Virginia, USA September–November 2009 and ‘The Bridge of Sighs’ an installation work in the CitiesMethodologies, Slade Research Centre UCL, May 2010. In 2009 she co-wrote the Observer’s ‘Guide to Painting’ published 20th September 2009. Most recently shown works include, ‘Wardrobe Work’ with Bruce McLean, Estelle Thompson and Gary Woodley, The Russian Club Gallery, London June 2010 and Re:Collection group show with Slade MA Students at Kardo-Sesseoff Collection, Portsea Place, London June 2010.
Jo Volley’s works are concerned with measurement, light, space and colour as light, and play with ideas of pictorial illusion and architectural spaces. They include the use of gold leaf, image transfers, wax and limestone; draw attention to the nature of archiving, historic materials, ideas of craftsmanship incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques.