Jo Chew is kicking off Despard Gallery’s exhibition year with her solo show The Wanderer, the Fool, and the Refuge.
“The Wanderer, The Fool, and The Refuge is a body of work that engages with personal and universal concerns of brokenness and restoration, the need for refuge, and the precarity and transience of that refuge. The act of collaging fragments and images together is central to my practice as a compositional tool, and as a process which is analogous to restoration or mending. Collage, in its ability to cross borders and take imagery and references from elsewhere, mobilises the nomadic or wanderer as emblematic of contemporary life.” – Jo Chew 2019
Jo Chew lives and works in Hobart, her paintings explore ideas of vulnerability, loss, hopefulness and longing. Aware of the absent origin inherent in collage (Krauss), the process of composing many of her paintings through collage harnesses ideas of exile or the nomadic, but also of restoration and mending through bringing together these ‘exiled’ fragments into the new home of the painted space. Chew’s work has been exhibited in Hobart, Launceston, and Sydney; she was the recipient of a 12-month fellowship through ADM in Sydney in 2017; and was a finalist in the Bruny18 and the Henry Jones Art Prize.