How the Free Spirits Collection Started

Jo Sharpe lost her father during lockdown. The restrictions from seeing him before he died or when attending the funeral were heartbreaking.  Just like so many other families who experienced similar hardships at that time. At least Jo had her studio to paint in. This was a creative outlet during this awful period.  She produced a collection of artworks that explored her creative response to this grief.

Free Spirits Winter Collection

The current Free Spirits Winter Exhibition is a development from the original exhibition:  Free Spirits: Loss in Lockdown – Exhibition of art and poetry.

The exhibition delves far deeper into the haunting internal and external landscapes of Norfolk and Surrey. It expresses the creative story of Jo’s experiences and feelings over that difficult time which also involved the death of her dear  mother too.

The exhibition includes works on the theme of birds as a metaphor for all the free spirits during the pandemic lockdown. There are also pieces from Jo’s other popular collections such as ’Follow your Heart,’ prints, and botanical scarves and cushions which can make great gifts for upcoming Valentine’s and Mother’s day.

The exhibition is open every Saturday in February 11-4pm at Studio 9, The Old Stable Block, Oaks Park, Croydon Lane, Carshalton, Surrey, SM7 3BA. Viewings during the week can also be made by appointment.

Jo Sharpe says:

“Due to lockdown I was able to spend more time in my studio than I normally would have done. I was unable to see my dad, who was in and out of hospital and then in isolation in a care home due to the coronavirus restrictions. I would think about him while I was painting.  I realised that all the seascapes I had painted in the last year were an outlet for my stress and sadness over his situation and declining health.

“My dad died in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in October 2020 but I will always be thankful for the few days I was able to spend with him in hospital before he passed away. That time was so important because it enabled me to let him know how much I loved and cared for him.”

Jo Sharpe hopes the exhibition shows how creativity can become an outlet for processing grief. She wants to encourage others to use their natural creativity to process the loss and absence that the pandemic has caused.

Creative Workshops for Wellbeing

Jo has planned two creative workshops on this theme. She hopes as well as being enjoyable they will help relieve stress and sadness that many people have accrued over the last few years.  The first workshop involves birds and hearts and the second is called ‘Free your Spirit’ where you can let your hair down with various painting techniques.

The workshops will be held in Jo’s studio, a beautiful studio in Oaks Park, Carshalton, Surrey. They can be run privately or as part of a group.

Anyone interested in coming along to these workshops can book via the website: Art Workshops for Adults in Surrey – Jo Sharpe | Surrey artist (jo-sharpe.co.uk) or contact Jo for more information via email: info@josharpe.co.uk