Margaret River Artist Jo Broadhurst aims to “give life to the ordinariness of the Australian Cultural Heritage” through his figurative sculptures. Exploring some of our iconic historical figures like Ned Kelly moving through to the more generalised figures of today like the “Tradie” or “The Hooded Youth” all with a humorous twist of reality. Jo works with Earthenware Clay finished with a cold glaze and a variety of patinas.
Jo Broadhurst – Artist Biography
Jo Broadhurst works from his studio at Prevelly near Margaret River and has developed an individual style of figurative sculpture that is unique to the South West.
“I enjoy giving life to the ‘ordinariness’ of Australian Cultural Heritage and love to explore the psyche of what it is to be Australian All pieces are constructed using earthenware clay, then fired and finished with a variety of patinas, and are created for both indoor and outdoor display.”
Born December 1953 Victoria
Moved to Margaret River, Western Australia in 1983 and ran various businesses including Margaret River Galleries (1994 – 2006)
Studied Art History at Edith Cowan University in 1998
Studied Sculpture over two semesters at TAFE Margaret River under Jane Hardy 2008/2009
Studied Drawing over one semester at TAFE Margaret River under Jane Hardy 2009
Attended various workshops with Sculptor Robyn Lees
Southwest Survey Bunbury Regional Art Galleries 2012
‘ICONS R US’ Bunbury Regional Art Galleries September 6 2013 – November 4 2013
Sculpture Exhibition Margaret River Gallery 2013
Current works represented in JahRoc Galleries, 83 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River
South West Survey 2012 – City of Bunbury Acquisition Award.
2013 – Recent exhibition at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery…
Icons ‘R’ Us
A Sculptural Essay on Cultural Identity by Jo Broadhurst
Bunbury Regional Galleries 6 Sept to 3 Nov 2013
From my studio at Prevelly on the coast near Margaret River.
The concept for my proposed body of work is found within our Australian Culture. Exploring and constructing perceived Australian Icons has been an element of my ongoing practice for some time now, and will be the focus of the body of work I am proposing for Bunbury Regional Galleries.
I see Australia as a country seeking its own cultural identity. Europe has such revered icons as the Madonna and Child or St Anthony holding the baby Jesus, whereas it is ironic that one of our greatest visual icons is Nolan’s Ned Kelly. We lack the traditions of Europe, built over thousands of years, and in our early ignorance missed the opportunity of building upon the rich indigenous culture of our land. Desperate at times, we have collated a handful of perceived Australian Icons; a combination of popular imagery and stereotypes which have come to be largely accepted as figureheads of Australian Culture, to which we cling, despite our contemporary multi-cultural world dismissing their relevance.
It is these icons, with their wry reflections of us that I enjoy representing back to Australian viewers. Through my three dimensional pieces, they are invited to reflect on the truth of such icons, both historically and currently.
Thus the exhibition will include historic icons such as the ‘Tradie’ with his choc milk and fag for smoko’, and the ‘C.W.A’ lady with her blue rinse hair and plate of scones, through to more contemporary icons such as the ‘Tin Man’ fly in fly out worker with his heart of gold and chrome finish who is rusting from the feet up, the ‘Hooded Youth’ with his hunched attitude and I.Phone, and the ‘Policeman’ (peace keeper) with his utility belt bristling with weapons.
It is only from reflecting upon the iconography of our time that we can gain the clarity to construct the icons of the future.
My pieces are hand built using a leathered hard clay armature as the internal structure, which is then finished and detailed. Due to the large sizes, each piece is fired in two parts that then lock together without a visible join.
The completed pieces stand between 1mtr and 1.7 metres high and will be finished with a cold glaze.