Another Talented Bluetit : Johanne Moss

Blackbird cushion

If you have been down to Goodwick at high tide recently, you may well have encountered a bunch of folks dipping into the harbour with a wild array of swimmies, luminous hats and inflatable buoys. These are the Bluetits and a nicer, more interesting bunch you would be hard pressed to encounter.

I happened to get chatting with one of them, JOHANNE MOSS, and she told me a little about her life and work as an artist and about the community garden in Goodwick, which I didn’t even know existed. I asked to know more and I am delighted to say that she agreed.

 

So over to Johanne Moss:

I grew up on a farm in Cheshire with lots of fields to roam. I always loved nature and moved to Donegal in 1994. We were a family of five, a dog, two rabbits and a zebra finch (my daughter was animal mad!) living in a caravan right on the Atlantic coast. We loved being by the sea.

I lost my daughter to leukaemia and my marriage broke up, so my family brought me to Pembrokeshire where my brother had been living since 1975.

What about her art?

I’m a real nature nerd, and I get inspiration from the landscape and wildlife. I have always been creative but did not choose art as a subject for O-level. Instead I was really into sewing, cookery and making celebration cakes. After school I obtained an OND in hotel management and catering.

What I felt when I had a cuddle with my Dad

After my father passed in 2008 I decided to do a foundation in art at Pembrokeshire College and didn’t want to leave! I couldn’t keep out of the print room where I was hooked on printmaking. I then embarked on the degree course there in design studies which I completed at Carmarthen School of Art. There I joined the knit, weave and mixed media programme and concentrated on digital wallpaper and textile design taken from my printmaking.

My degree in artwork was often naive and quirky, aiming to appeal to children with a view to educate them about wildlife. I started with simple sketches and lino-prints. Inspiration came from print artists like Angela Lewis and Mark Hearld.

I’ve had 12 years of part-time art study, including a year’s residency at Carmarthen School of Art. I have also worked on the National Botanical Garden Regency Project with Carmarthen Artists Network.

What else inspires her?

Photogram of Dad with foliage

Although a passionate printmaker, I also enjoy screen printing and textile stitch. For my Masters (surface pattern design) I really enjoyed using camera-less photography and the cyanotype process using both paper and fabric. Jill Enfield is a brilliant alternative photography expert whom I really admire. I love the uncertainty of the outcome as with printmaking.

How has the pandemic affected her work?

Pre-pandemic I was working in the Bara Brith cafe at Dinas where I also sold some of my digital print designs in the form of pictures and cushions as well as greetings cards. Pandemic restrictions meant huge changes and included no access into Swansea College of Art for workshops and equipment. I had to adapt to what resources I had at home.

Exhibition in Carmarthen

My final MA project was in response to own personal pressures/issues as well as having an empathetic approach to people during covid. The theme was on wellbein

I found the New Road community garden in Goodwick a place for mindfulness and connection with local people. The project Collaboration and Communication in the Covid Era began. This was started with a “wishing tree” asking passers-by to respond to the question “What do you wish for in 2021?”

One of Jo’s commissions

I wanted to break away from using Zoom and social media for communication, hoping that the actual process of writing would be  therapeutic. The messages were then translated into silk prayer flags  (similar to those of Tibet) using the cyanotype process.These used only sunlight to develop, as sunlight is also beneficial for wellbeing.

The theme was changed often on the wishing tree – but always an uplifting theme. There were more than 900 responses from January to July.

There were several original contributors to the community garden but the tree encouraged people and children

Wellbeing project

alike to leave plant and colourful artefact donations.

I also created a film on the Goodwick Community Garden which can be viewed on YouTube and on Pembrokeshire Initiatives, also filmed there.

What is she up to now?

I’m never happier than when I’m being creative, especially sewing. I love making something out of scrap material.  This falls completely in line with the ethos of the Transition Bro Gwaun where we are trying to create awareness of the effects on the environment of fast fashion. Did you know that 80% of landfill is textiles? I enjoy the repair café and teaching mending skills too.

You can find Jo on Instagram:-Johanne Moss@Noanietta_design

There are also some images of her work on the Carmarthen Artists Network website:

http://www.canart.org.uk/catalogue/Johanne_Moss.html

Jo tends to work on commissions but is going to do an Etsy shop in 2022.

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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