Joe Self
5 November 2009 to 10 January 2010

Paintings from a Poisoned Garden

Jo Self whose visionary flower paintings reveal entire universes in the fleshy convolutions of stamen and petal, has embarked on a radical new direction. Her new exhibition is nothing less than an intense compression of her life and work into the smallest museum London has ever seen, and an accompanying book. From her childhood as the daughter of one of ITN’s first news cameramen, to her time painting the Dalai Lama’s garden, Self’s take on an extraordinary and creative life produces an artwork that is as diverting as it is original. Will Self

Jo Self’s new exhibition, ILL=USION is the sequel to her last show at the Redfern Gallery, London in 2006, ‘Paintings from the Private Garden of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ . The exhibition will include the largest and most vibrant oil paintings from His Holinesses garden including PINK TIBETAN LOTUS, ORCHID from her residency at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and more recent paintings created in her garden in Herne Hill PAINTINGS FROM A POISONED GARDEN, which has become the focus of an environmental campaign. Some of the paintings in this exhibition are of the night sky and the moon around Brixton and Herne Hill, something that has been an influence on her work and life since her father showed her images of the sky and the moon through his telescope. A limited edition loose-leaf book accompanies the exhibition of poetry written on Self’s mobile phone while working in the garden of the Dalai Lama. These simply formed and beautiful poems work within the limits of the amount of words one is able to send in a single text message, and tell the story of Self’s life as an artist, her thoughts on illusion, and her concerns about the environment. The poems draw a path from the Dalai Lama’s garden back to her childhood watching the TV news that her father was filming, the inspiration of space travel and the poisoned garden her new paintings inhabit. The book is the exhibition in a smaller more delicate form.

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning is delighted to present this exhibition by a pre-eminent local artist and long time friend of 198. Self has lived in the area for over 28 years and her choice to show her work locally shows her affection for her local area, our shared commitment to giving local audiences an experience of high quality contemporary art and a strong ethos of participation and community.

Jo Self’s limited edition hand made book ILLUSION will be available to buy from the gallery during the exhibition each individually made book is a miniature exhibition. Books cost £50 each