Published: 5 September 2019

Earlier this summer, we visited the studio of Jo Taylor, where she is busy preparing for her solo show Running Wild, the culmination of over 2 years' work. Having built her reputation as a painter of horses, for this exhibition Jo is encompassing a range of animals in movement. Inspired by time spent on the Irish coast, in many of her newer works, Jo situates her animals within powerful, dramatic landscapes, which serve to add to their emotional force. 

Visiting Jo's studio exemplified her process. Working from sketches and the many photographs that adorn the walls of her studio, she captures the movement of animals with staggering anatomical accuracy, despite her loose, expressive style. Her knowledge of anatomy derives from an artist's residency that she undertook at the University of Liverpool's Department of Veterinary Science, where she developed a strong understanding of animal anatomies (equestrian, in particular). Her medicl attention to detail is apparent in the way she renders the bodies of the animals she portrays. Taylor was also the first female artist to have exhibited her work at the Jockey Club, a milestone testament to her unparalleled ability to render horses and their dynamic spirit.

Jo creates her large scale, multimedia works on paper, building up layers of paint, pastel, wax and collage, giving them an almost sculptural element, and the signature dreamlike style which makes her work so recognisable. Her works, once complete, are then framed in dramatically heavy black frames and large mounts to give them as much power as possible, and a sense of physical solidity so at odds with the nebulous forms she creates. 

This, her latest body of work, signals a departure from Taylor's former focus on purely horses, while still retaining the expressive qualities for which her work is so often heralded. Unique in its dynamism and fluidity, it is an exhibition not to be missed.

Running Wild opens at our London gallery on 21st November. To register interest or for more information, email enquiries@thompsonsgallery.co.uk