At the age of 16, Jo moved from Gloucestershire with her family to live in the heart of Exmoor, a move which turned out to play a large part in her early artistic development and love of nature. In 1976 she spent a year at Oxford studying drawing and painting with the artist Alan Halliday. This was followed by a foundation year at Taunton.
Jo then felt ready to follow her own creative path as an artist. Combined with painting and drawing, photography was an abiding inspiration which led to her first group exhibition in Dulverton Somerset. A couple of years of porcelain restoration also focused her attention on structure, texture and detail which extensive travelling helped to broaden.
Im 1983 Jo started a highly successful decorative painting business. Starting off with attractive colour combinations and general effects of light and texture, she moved on to very large all-over wall designs, painted entirely in situ. Meanwhile, the discipline of photography continued to provide a stimulus for her work at this time.
In 1996 Jo Minoprio married Ashley Down and the family moved to the south of France where 4 years later they had a son, Louis. Living in France over this period inspired Jo to start painting again and when in 2010 they returned to live on Jo’s beloved Exmoor she was truly ready to continue her creative path, with her fascination for the Beech hedges and trees being her main inspiration.
Jo’s studio, gallery and home are now high up on the moor, commanding glorious views across the Barle Valley, with all the inspiration an artist could need at her finger tips. “Design in Nature” is what Jo continually searches for, and recently her discovery of various tree circles and tree groups has led her to produce a series of ‘Tree Top’ photographs, three of which you can see exhibited here today. Jo is particularly interested in the relationship between the trees when they are standing close together, how they give each other space to breath and form wonderful patterns in their highest branches.
At this time she also continues exploring with ink and watercolour and has recently done a course in woodcut printing at West Dean being taught by Merlyn Chesterman.
She also works with mixed media, charcoal, pastel and oil, to express the ever changing and invigorating landscape she loves so much.
2012 Lanacre Barn Gallery, joint show with Celia Minoprio and Marian Lloyd 2013 “Exmoor through the eyes of Eight Artists” – joint exhibition at Lanacre Barn Gallery 2014 Solo exhibition during ‘Open Studios’ at Lanacre Barn Gallery 2015 Joint exhibition at Lanacre Barn Gallery 2016 Exhibition at No. 4 The Gallery in Bampton -Joint exhibition at Contains Art in Watchet 2016 Joint exhibition at Contains Art with Gordon Field in his “Find a Tree” exhibition 2016 Joint exhibition at Illminster Art Centre 2016 Solo exhibition during Open Studios at Lanacre Barn Gallery 2017 “Exmoor to the Sea” Exhibition at Lanacre Barn Gallery 2017 Exhibition in the Exmoor Society headquarters -Exhibition in The Exmoor National Parks Headquarters 2018 Joint exhibition at the Simonsbath Art Festival 2018 Joint exhibition in Aug at Dartington 2018 Exhibition at Lanacre Barn Gallery during Open Somerset Open Studios
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