Jo Howard: Cloud Control

Saturday 24 February – Saturday 18 May 2024
Jo Howard: Control Centre | Jo Howard: Cloud Control | Saturday 24 February – Saturday 18 May 2024 | Garter Lane Arts Centre | Image: Control Centre | an artwork using fabric – even the black frame is made of fabric; the top two-thirds of the image shows a white, gridded cloud against a green sky; there are irregularly shaped spots of colour on the underside of the cloud, and threads stretch down from them to a black-and-white photographic (on textile) image of a crowd of people below; bottom front are what look somewhat like four pockets in a row, each square, with dark stitching around predominantly white cloth

Cloud Control is an exhibition by artist Jo Howard. The title for this body of work was inspired by a recent conversation about the multiple layers of meaning ascribed to clouds these days. Old phrases like ‘On Cloud 9’ or ‘Head in the Clouds’ all take on new layers of meaning now.

We have narrow corridors of towering dark computer servers, cables and air-conditioning versus the analogue world ethereal clouds as represented in the paintings of Diarmuid Breen. Dark cloud vs light cloud.

Jo is interested in how Big-Tech have hijacked a word so intrinsic to our experience of being human and turned it into a data centre. Increasingly, we have our head in the cloud by way of our devices. We have traded outside offline for inside online, living largely in our own echo-chambers.

This work plays with these different layers whilst hoping to remind people to look behind the cloud/curtain now and again to see that the wizard in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was simply a projected image of his own face. These pieces are mixed-media works. Mostly screen-printed onto fabric, machine and hand-stitched.

I am a mixed-media artist currently working in Textiles and Screenprinting, on both fabric and paper.

I would describe my textile work as collage, layering different fabrics together on a fabric background. I am particularly drawn to Irish linens and vintage Irish wool blankets, the backs of old fabrics and found weather-altered specimens. Screenprinting allows me to develop more complex ideas, to print photographs and drawings and more complex imagery.
Science-fiction, particularly dystopian-future stories, has always been my form of escapism through books. This has perhaps led me to often imagine glamorous origin stories for things that are pretty mundane in reality.

I’m intrigued by what may be hidden, by secrets, by mass-control of human beings through systems such as the Internet, Communism and Cults. We have willingly and collectively become slaves to the invisible forces of the cloud. I love playing with exaggerated scale, as a means to evoke a sense of space and mystery, by drawing the viewer in to my re-imagined reality.

— Jo Howard, artist

Image: Jo Howard: Control Centre
Saturday 24 February – Saturday 18 May 2024
Garter Lane Arts Centre
O'Connell Street
Telephone: +353 51 855038
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday 11:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:30
Thursday 11:00 - 17:30
Friday 11:00 - 17:30
Saturday 11:00 - 17:30
Admission / price: Free

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