Jo Dennis finds beauty in abandoned, deteriorating spaces and objects. She responds working intuitively across media: she paints over her photographs, photographs her paintings and uses highly finished materials alongside found objects. Glass, tarpaulin, acetate, vinyl and wooden board have all become vehicles for her photography. These found materials are sometimes the subject of the work and are also often the fabric of the work itself. Dennis’s process-led approach to image-making allows her to draw parallels between the incidental layering of paint and time as a multi-layered entity that manifests in derelict and abandoned spaces and buildings. Indeed, the notion of ‘layering’ or ‘covering up’ and conversely, ‘revealing’ is integral to her practice both in what she photographs and the way she applies paint.
For Photo London, Dennis shows new works that typifies her practice, presenting overlaid photographs some of which are hand finished with unique painting techniques.
The starting point of the ‘Ladywell Treasure’ series is a from a body of work taken in a derelict pool house in Ladywell, South East London. The photographs are of the ground, strewn with debris and colourful flakes of paint which have fallen from the deteriorating graffitied walls.
The gallery is particularly excited to exhibit for the first time ‘Vacant Positions’, which are from a series of images created from two sets of photographs; one set was taken over the past 5 years in derelict spaces in London, the other taken in the summer of 2017 on the Greek island of Skiathos. In this series Dennis uses digital techniques to create multiple exposures of decayed, painted surfaces from derelict buildings in London with photographs of half built skeletal structures and construction sites in Greece. This latest body of work further explores the conceptual ideas by visualising emotional connections to past experience allowing a narrative of place and humanity to reveal itself.
Jo Dennis (b 1973, UK) studied at Norwich School of Art and Goldsmiths College London.
Dennis has exhibited internationally and has been included extensively in group exhibitions including at the ICA and The Royal Academy of Arts, in London. Recent solo exhibitions include, Your feet in the air and your head on the ground, Peckham 24, UK, Matter Out of Place at Sid Motion Gallery, UK, Cropped Up at AMP Gallery, UK. Dennis lives and works between London and Amsterdam.
Jo Dennis was selected as ‘One to Watch’ in the ‘New Talent’ issue of the British Journal of Photography during Photo London.