‘Her immediate natural environment, humanity and culture are combined in abstract paintings by Jo Davenport. Describing her process, she suggested, “It starts with the earth”. These highly coloured, often calligraphically-marked and spacious canvases, harness the felt experience of place, evoking a strong sense of being in the landscape. Her lifelong immersion in the country, living in the town of Albury (on the border of Victoria and New South Wales), has made relationship with place her subject and mode of expression. While her reference to the earth was a description of the way she grounds her raw Belgian linen canvases, priming them with rabbit skin glue, it notes too the environment which sees her reaching for an expression of an internal landscape defined by place.
After grounding the canvases, paint and colour is applied in layers, while she awaits an almost alchemical emergence of the image. “Slowly I can see things and I follow.” The impact of place is at once subtle and all pervasive, as is the scale of her work - large enough to embrace the viewer in an expression of the sublime within the tangible.
Louise Martin-Chew, excerpt from A Natural Response essay 2015
For 35 years Jo Davenport technically trained within the field of painting, yet turned her focus to exhibiting in both solo and group exhibitions only in the last ten years. In 2013 Jo Davenport was included in a major new exhibition at the Wangaratta Art Gallery, alongside Sally Gabori, Todd Hunter, Ildiko Kovacs, and Aida Tomescu, as well as being a finalist in the Tattersall’s Club Prize for Landscape. In 2012 Jo was selected as one of only 30 finalists in the $25,000 R M McGivern Prize 2012, with a theme of Uncertainty. Whilst completing her Masters at the VCA, Jo was also the recipient of The Langridge Painting Award, The Shelmedine Acquisitive Art Award, The Alliance Francaise Award and The Pigment Gallery Award.
In 2014 Jo sold out of her works at her fair debut at the Melbourne Art Fair with FLG. She is a constant traveler, drawing upon her surrounds to inspire her bodies of work and she has undertaken residencies and research trips globally for the last ten years.