Originally from Cork in the Irish Republic, Jo trained at Chelsea School of Art and Brighton University where she received a BA (Hons) in 3D Design (Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics).
Jo Heckett is a visual artist working mainly in ceramics, exploring concepts such as mythological archetypes, Paganism, and themes of science and magic, all languages that aim to describe the indescribable.
She also uses photography, collage, the written word, journal work and mixed media to further investigate ideas.
She has a background in healing and meditation and draws on her own experience of the natural world, and a fascination with the earliest people.
For thirteen years, while her children were growing up, Jo ran her porcelain design business from her studio at Cockpit Arts in London. In 2015 Jo closed down her business, took a sabbatical and reconnected with her fine art practice.
Jo has an MA in Therapeutic Bodywork from Westminster University.
'I am interested in what is at the core of human experience, what connects all humans from our very earliest ancestors. I am looking for what is permanent, what connects all life. The magic that is hidden within the prosaic.
Buddhist philosophy describes that enlightenment can only be experienced and not explained. It is an act of doing and not a belief.
I like to get hands on with materials, using techniques such as carving, scraping, daubing, painting and assembling. My making is in itself a type of meditative practice.
Clay is the very stuff of life. It is part of the soil, the living, breathing skin of our world. Creation myths describe life being literally embodied in clay before being imbued with the spark of life. Each clay has forms and shapes it leans towards, and I aim to express not only its inherent nature, but to give life to the material, to distil complex ideas into the simplest of forms.
I rely on the sense of touch as well as sight, expecting people to hold or touch the work. I like the effect of direct communication from hand to hand.’