(British, b. 1969)
The ancient relationship between man, horse and the elements. This is the recurring theme throughout the work of Jo Taylor. Her work echoes the classical and renaissance masters as she celebrates the beauty of the beast whilst exploring how our world has evolved through theirs. Taylor says, "Animals, the simplest things. They are not affected by spiritual and intellectual torments from which men suffer. Animals and their elements exist in that state of perfect innocence which reigned before original sin, guided by that mixture of freedom and necessity in which pure instinct is composed".
Rigorous life drawing and patient observation are the starting points for these visually arresting works. It is through watching, drawing and riding horses that Jo Taylor captures a sense of their power and presence. Like her influences Leonardo and Gericault, Jo is attracted to the expressive body of animals.
Jo works in a variety of media on a large unrestrictive scale and her style is deliberately abstract with a bold use of colour. Her organic palette is scoured from the immediate landscape and the elements, reminiscent of the work of Prunella Clough and Graham Sutherland. Through her materials she describes muscle tensions and structures, which she was able to study during her residency at the Department of Veterinary Science at Liverpool University. This left Jo with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of animal physiology, leading The Times Art Critic Rachel Campbell Johnson to liken her use of anatomy to Stubbs.