Jo-Ann Richards is an artist from Victoria, British Columbia who creates large abstract paintings. She received her Associate of Arts in Visual Art from Camosun College, Victoria BC and Associate of Arts in Commercial Photography from Sheridan College, Oakville Ontario. Richards was reintroduced to painting through Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA). This led to an invitation to join the Board of Directors and she is currently the president of the Board. Richards continues to develop her painting practice through mentored residencies and courses at MISSA and the Vancouver Island School of Art. Her work is regularly exhibited in the Victoria region.
My work is driven from a desire to move from the representational to more ambiguous and less decipherable forms. Representation is replaces by abstract forms with a shift in focus to mood, emotion and atmosphere.
I am exploring themes; movement and stillness, energy and calm. This manifests in the work as the quiet of the foreground containing or harnessing the activity in the background. To me the colour black represents a quiet and enveloping space, a meditation, the night. Immersion in this dark environment leads me to heightened sensory responses. Forms emerge from underlying surface, distinction between figure and ground is blurred. Black creates heightened sensory awareness that focuses attention to the subtleties of what lies beneath.
I find that layering graphite black minerals over a thick, textured ground of brightly-coloured acrylic paint allows me to explore the contradictions between movement and stillness, energy and calm. Through this process, I endeavor to harness activity through a quiet approach. To me, the colour black represents a quiet and enveloping space, a meditation, the night. Immersion in this dark environment leads me to heightened sensory responses. Indeterminate forms emerge from beneath the surface, and finally, a layer of polished graphite highlights the subtleties of what lies beneath.