Review of Open Studio 2014

A selection of comments from visitors to my Open Studio 2014:

“The most creative, original and unusual work I’ve seen!”
“Really beautiful work, very inspirational.”
“Very original and thought provoking.”


Image 1










A review by Peter Berry.
I was very pleased to be able to see the recent work of Jo Roberts on my visit to her home and studio in Kenilworth during the Warwickshire Open Studios event in July 2014.
All visitors to this comfortable and easy going family home are greeted warmly and are invited to wander freely around house, garden and studios where the work may be found in windows, on tables and on walls and in the garden.
For the open studios event, Jo has conceived and made a new work entitled ’26 Memory Maps’ from the series ‘Maps of Jo’s World’. Each ‘memory map’ is made onto a rectangle of white paper measuring 18 x 11 cm. (roughly postcard size) and each consists of text and drawing relating to a particular event recalled during a period of meditation. At first the artist has made written notes of each memory and then proceeded to ‘fill out’ the image as the particular event was recalled later in greater detail. The subject matter of these images is the familiar, the commonplace and each is the recollection around instances of ordinary family events.
These delicate and sensitive images are displayed facing outwards on the insides of windows around the home and as we move from one to the next, in this sequence of 26, an autobiographical story unfolds. The decision to exhibit these small fragmentary images on the surface of the building resolves the concept beautifully since we are invited to peer into the windows of a private property but are allowed only partial access into the artist’s world. This environmental display has both a poetic, personal and practical character (26 images because of the number of windows in the property) and acts, quite successfully, as the artist intended, as a ‘metaphor of the mind’.
In the information sheet prepared for the visitor, the artist explains that the idea of the memory map has been instigated through changes in the environment, ‘both internally and externally’ and by excerpts from talks on Radio 4. The importance of memory, certainly to the creative life and work, is emphasised by the selection of brief references to memory by three well-known writers. These include Max Seebald who in his last recorded interview said that “memory… will come back at you and re-shape your life and there is very little you can do about it” and Clive James who has said that memories become clearer all the time .. “past experiences into immediate experiences”
The Open Studio idea has an extremely valuable social and educational role in allowing and encouraging the visitor, often local, to drop in, chat and experience the artist’s process and lifestyle.
In this particular case and during my short visit the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly with the artist demonstrating her willingness and generosity to share ideas and insights with visitors and fellow artists. This artist’s industry, imagination and enthusiasm continues to be inspiring and I look forward to seeing the next instalment.

Terence Higgins Trust Charity Art Auction


I’m delighted to have 4 of my ‘Travel Sketches’ in this Auction:Terrence Higgins Trust is hosting a Charity Art Auction on 1st December at LAMP in Leamington Spa.

You can view the artwork donated by local artists so far here:

“Please do help us by sharing the details of this event to family, friends and colleagues.  It means such a lot to us that the event is a success. The details of the event can be viewed here:

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact either myself Liz Waters, or my colleague Lynne Haste on 02476 229292.”

With the very best of wishes

Liz Waters
Health and Treatment Worker at Terrence Higgins Trust


‘This Green and Pleasant Land’









As the final part to the ‘Back to the Land’ project, I produced this piece of embroidery. It records which artefacts we took back to which location, and what we discussed there. There was very positive feedback from the participants, and it has certainly given me ideas for future projects. The artwork can be seen as part of the excellent ‘This Green and Pleasant Land’ exhibition on at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa until 19th January 2014.

Drawing Day at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum


I’m delighted to be running a drawing day for all those people who say they can’t draw – but would like to have a go!

We will be working with objects in the exhibition ‘This Green and Pleasant Land’. You will have a day of exploring and experimenting with the wonderful activity of drawing.

Saturday 26th October 11am – 4pm   £15 per person. Places are limited, please call 01926 742700 to book.

Last few days….


It’s the last few days that my work ‘A Contemporary Survey of Compton Verney’ commissioned for the ‘Re-Viewing the Landscape’ exhibition can be seen at Compton Verney. The photo above is just a small part of it. I shall be very sad to take down all the pieces of paper that I carefully embossed & cut out with letters. But, I love the fact that it will be lovingly packed away  into a very small pile. I’ll then take back to my studio and labelled, whilst I ponder upon its future



Every participant on a Repatriation Tour received a Certificate. This is one that I made for the day we took the Bean Dibber and Knife back to the allotments in Kenilworth. The embossing was done on my 1866 Albion Hand Press.

The artifacts are now safely back in the store at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, but they will be coming out again shortly for the Rural Life exhibition that is opening on October 19th. Do hope that you can come and see them.