Jo Holdsworth is best known for her paintings of faceless figures within the urban landscape. A London-based painter who is constantly inspired by the ever-changing cityscapes and the wash of people moving through the Capital.
A recent article in Arts & Collections described Jo’s work as evoking “with uncanny semblance, the comings, and goings of everyday ...life. With seemingly effortless brush strokes and a limited colour palette, she crafts an artistic window into quintessentially British scenes.
The figures in her work, elongated and striking, dominate her oil on canvas paintings as recurrent leitmotifs. Faceless and eerie, they are denied identity. But this anonymity means each one of them could be any one of us, adding to the undeniably potent imagery of Jo’s work.”
Inspired by her daily commuting in London over many years, her work is infused with the essence of city living, drawn from her observation of people going about their daily lives; and, with her keen observation and a note of romanticism, she will often depict people in transitional places such as railway stations, on their way to their next destination.
Employing a minimalist and monochrome colour palette intended to capture the mood of a city where people move about in the half light of early morning or at the end of a day, the muted colours also reflect the strangeness of a half-real world where people are on the move either alone or in crowds going about their daily business.
Born near Manchester and the daughter of a professional artist, Jo was surrounded from a very early age by art, artists and other creatives. Pat Cooke, regarded by many as L.S Lowry's protégée, was a close family friend and formed part of her early influences - someone to whom she is often compared to today.
Jo didn't choose to practice as an artist initially, instead choosing to train as a lawyer and going on to work in Management Consultancy. Only upon attending evening art classes later in life was her work spotted by a prominent art collector, who encouraged her to take the leap and concentrate on her painting career full-time, and since then she has never looked back.
In just a short time Jo has exhibited widely in solo and group shows across London. She has recently become joint winner of the Royal Arts Prize Visitors’ Choice Award 2019 and her work is often on display in commercial spaces in and around the capital.