Introducing: Jo Roets

14 September, 2021

Capetonian Jo Roets is a passionate sculptor, painter and mould maker. Art has always been a central theme in Jo’s life and art practises are interwoven in her education and professional careers.
She calls her clay artworks ‘light relief sculptures’. The way Jo uses the medium is unique. The artworks are created from an air-drying clay medium, which is rolled out to a paper-thin thickness to create delicate bass relief sculptures. Using unusual sculpting tools such as toothpicks and needles, she scores the damp surface with indents, holes and incisions. Part of her creative challenge is to push the medium to its breaking point, encouraging it to warp in the process. This warping quality is unique to the each artwork and unplanned.
Her school years included Sculpture and Ceramics subjects at P.J. Olivier art school in Stellenbosch. After matriculating in 1997 from Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof, she furthered her studies and obtained a Diploma in Art Direction for film and television as well as an Advanced Diploma in Motion Picture Production Design.

Jo’s background is in the film industry where she worked as an artist in the art department. She also had a fulltime lecturing career, lecturing in painting, prosthetics, special effects, props fabrication, sculpting, mould-making and casting at a multimedia film school. In 2017, after 14 years as a senior lecturer, she exchanged her lecturing apron for one of a full time artist.

In 2018, Jo’s work was selected for three prominent art competitions:
Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum (finalist); Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award Barrel Head Exhibition, Hermanus (finalist) and Vuleka, Art.B Gallery, Bellville (finalist).

She was announced as the winner of the inaugural StateoftheART Gallery Award in 2018 and had her first solo exhibition in May 2019 at StateoftheART Gallery.

Her work has been exhibited at wide variety of South African galleries, including SMAC, Stateofthe ART, Lizamore & Associates, Rust & Vrede, Art.B, GUS, Imibala, Nel, Art Afrique, Breytenbagh Gallery, No End Contemporary, Art@Africa, Johann van Heerden, Art on Avenues, Christo Coetzee Museum and Trent Gallery. Apart from participation at gallery exhibitions, her work has also been exhibited at festivals around South Africa. These include, KKNK, Hermanus FynArts Festival, US Woordfees and Tulbagh Arts Festival.

She is currently exhibiting at various local and international exhibitions (online and physical) including South Africa, Spain and Canada.

Jo was recently announced as one of the 2021 Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award winners as well as an awardee of the coveted Sustainable Arts Foundation grant for 2021.