Getting There

Jo Lathwood


12 July - 28 August 2018



In summer 2018 Fabrica commissioned British sculptor, Jo Lathwood to produce Getting There, a new site-specific exhibition unique to the space.


Getting There was concerned with the making of a journey on one spot. Combining sculptural, performative and philosophical aspects, the work was constructed, exhibited and deconstructed entirely within a 6 week period. It was conceived as a large, rising, pathway that compels the curious visitor to follow it through the exhibition hall and up into the roof area with the promise of touching the ceiling. Visitors were able to watch its construction for the first three weeks, use it for the next two and see it dismantled in the last week.


Simultaneously purposeful and pointless, Getting There mirrors a common human personal goal: ‘to get somewhere’. Despite the where being abstract, the benefits of achieving it unclear and ultimately the goal rendered futile by death, the endeavour of getting there is commonly understood as a worthy idea. Lathwood’s new work provides a platform for interrogating this idea informally with visitors to the gallery and through a programme of discussions and activities.


Getting There responded specifically to the architecture of the building: using the whole space in ways that shift visitors’ perspectives and perceptions of it and reinterpreting its specific material qualities of varnished wood and Bath stone by a rougher-edged intervention of wood and scaffold. The exact layout and aesthetic of the pathway was determined as the work unfolds, allowing for the artist’s iterative process of working. 


Getting There was both original and inquisitive in its approach to space and audience. Challenging in its scale and the timeframe of its production this dynamic work will invite audiences to physically participate in and understand more about key philosophical and creative concepts.


Jo Lathwood was born in Bristol, England in 1984. Educated at the University of Brighton, Lathwood acquired a First Class Degree in Fine Art Sculpture and was awarded Burt, Brill and Cardens People’s Art Award for the best in show, and second prize in recognition of ‘Outstanding Artist Achievement’ at the University.  She has shown work in galleries around the UK and internationally. She has taken part in various residency programmes and biennials in the USA, Canada, France, Belgium and Austria. In 2012, she become the co-director of Ore and Ingot an artist-led fine art bronze foundry in Bristol.


My practice commonly aims to describe an emotional state through a physical space or object. I am driven by process and am continuous curiosity of materials and their origin.


Inspired by a meditation between simple natural beauty and the complex relationship we have with nature, I strive to create works that engage the audience through a common memory. The consideration of the audience’s response, reaction and position regularly determines how my work will be constructed and installed. I believe my artwork almost asks the audience to occupy a performative role.


The drive of my practice revolves around three notions:

- Our human endeavour to find an answer.
- Making for the sake of a communication free from money or pride.
Exploration into universal constants.

Jo Lathwood