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 Aphotograph of Joe Hodway
Joe Hodway in front of The Hard Target in 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
OVERVIEW

Joe Hodway is a London based fine artist who was born in Dubai to a British mercenary and a primary school teacher. 

He is known for works that transform their appearances when experienced under different conditions. They frequently explore the contrasting nature of plurality, and the contiguous nature of matter, energy, time and space. 

“Any one thing – including a person – can seem to be something entirely different, and even appear to have diametrically opposite qualities. It all depends on the context of how they are experienced. For example, we may only reveal some qualities of our character to an intimate friend or lover, but present a completely different set when with family, or with work colleagues. Similarly, by the wave/particle duality of quantum mechanics, light can be perceived as both a wave and a particle. What people are experiencing is exactly the same entity, but they only get to see one aspect of us – depending on where they are looking from. We can be many things at the same time, and our other aspects still exist, it is just that they are not visible from the viewer’s perspective.”

MISSION

Hodway seeks to reignite our intrinsic relationship with the sublime and infinite nature of existence. By revealing aspects of how we integrate with the fabric of perceived reality, he shows us more about ourselves, and our relationship with the world.

His goal is to increase our opportunities to make more informed, sustainable, and hopefully more rewarding decisions for our futures. 

“I seek to reintroduce participants to our shared origins, and to inspire us to take more conscious ownership of our futures. Although we appear to be passengers in the torrent of life, manifested by seemingly transient combinations of atoms and energy, the temporary nature of our existence is a verifiable illusion. ‘We (YOU and I) are far more permanent than our fleeting current forms, and each one of our actions will ripple out from these places and moments through eternity. To exist may be chance, or it may be ordained, whichever it is, it is still a gift of power and influence. Like all gifts – even unwanted ones – it comes with obligation and responsibility.” 

To help us establish more responsible systems, and ensure a more sustainable future, 10% of each piece’s sale proceeds are donated to environmental charities.

MEDIA AND METHODOLOGY

Hodway is an explorer, often experimenting with different ways to apply and remove paint, in order to emulate the organic, and intricately chance driven processes of weathering and attrition. He is known for claiming that his favourite paintbrush is an iron lump hammer. Close inspection of many of his works attest to the truth of this statement.

Hodway uses unconventional, often ‘parallel’ materials to more conventional artists. Many are commonly snubbed for their ubiquitous utilitarian or industrial associations, or for being pre-used. As well as the mundane, he loves paints with unusual, or interactive properties. While studying for an MA at Goldsmiths University in London, Hodway invented a paint that appeared to change colour and then disappear in response to tactile contact. The subsequent pieces resulted in him being thrown off the course.

Hodway is committed to sustainability, deliberately incorporating recycled media into his work. Often salvaged from illegal fly-tips of building waste in the streets and green spaces near his studio in South East London, these eyesores of unwanted materials, would normally be destined for polluting landfill, or fume generating incineration. Instead they are transmuted through the alchemy of art, into poignant and desirable pieces. 

This practice challenges the prevalent model of art making practice, where materials must be seen to be virgin and ‘premium’ in order to achieve optimal results, and invites us to find the inherent positive potential in all things.

INSPIRATION

Hodway has lived and worked in the Middle East, Europe, and South East Asia, where he absorbed many of the stylistic and spiritual influences seen in his painting, sculpture, and photographic work.

About his inspiration he says: “The transformative interactions between time, energy, and matter are my focus. We, as well as the world we experience, are transient combinations of these three things. Everything is perpetually exchanging elements and influence. Nothing lasts forever. It is the eternal dance of death and rebirth, attraction and repulsion. I am in love with the beautiful and terrible constancy of change. The work is a method to represent, interrogate, and participate in the rules that govern it. It is my job as an artist to explore, and draw attention to change’s inherent beauty and absurdity, so we can better understand, and appreciate our purpose.”

Many of his pieces are inspired by urban graffiti covered walls, and the rusting shipping containers he sees on the banks of the Thames near his studio in South East London. They have travelled the world, experienced sea, storms, and dockyard manhandling. Their once bold colours and emblems are faded, and their sides are now scarred and rusted. They are a fitting analogy for how even the most durable of entities and empires must eventually succumb to time and circumstance. Just as many of Hodway’s materials have been given new purpose, all of the atoms that make up our own bodies will eventually be transformed into part of something else.

Among his most formative artistic influences he credits the work of: Anselm Kiefer, Ad Reinhardt, Jasper Johns, Amikam Toren, Gilbert and George, Russel Mills, Fiona Rae, Dave McKean, Alban, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Marcus Harvey, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Aubrey Beardsley, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Although Joe takes his work very seriously, he often spikes it with humour too. “It is important we enjoy our time here – as long as we don’t leave others to pick up the tab.”

EDUCATION
  • Goldsmiths, University of London: MA in Artist Teachers and Contemporary Practices (Terminated before completion.)
  • University of Greenwich, London: Post Graduate Certificate in Secondry Education – Art and Design
  • University of Wales Institute, Cardiff: BA (Hons) Fine Art
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education (CGCHE): BTEC diploma in Art and Design
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2024

  • Convergence, Espacio Gallery, London U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Exploring Nature and the Manmade, Barbican Centre Library, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Anything Goes, (March exhibition) The Capital Art Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!, The Bermondsey Gallery, London, U.K. In collaboration with the Ben Oakley Gallery. (group exhibition)
  • WHATEVER (extended), Ben Oakley Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

2023

  • WHATEVER, Ben Oakley Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Light in the darkness, Espacio Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Erotic Art London, OXO Tower Wharf, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Anything Goes, (July exhibition) The Capital Art Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Open Studios 2023, Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • The Exquisite Exhibition, Espacio Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Art & Music Show, Meter Squared (West Kensington), London U.K. (group exhibition)
  • LGBT+LIFE, Brixton Tate Library, London U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Fragile Earth, Two More Years, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • No fear in the new year, Espacio Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

2022

  • Anything Goes, (December exhibition) The Capital Art Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Anything Goes,(November exhibition) The Capital Art Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Art Maze, (October exhibition) OXO Tower Wharf, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Leake Street Tunnel (Street art instalation), London U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Anything Goes, (July exhibition) The Capital Art Gallery, London, U.K. (group exhibition)
  • Erotic Art London, OXO Tower Wharf, London, U.K. Winner: Best In Show award (group exhibition)
  • Art Maze, (February exhibition) OXO Tower Wharf, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

2010

  • MAATCP Finale 2, 288 New Cross Road, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

2009

  • MAATCP Finale 1, 288 New Cross Road, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

1999

  • >> Forward, The Drome, London, U.K. (group exhibition)

1998

  • , Howard Gardens Gallery, Cardiff U.K. (group exhibition)

1997

  • , West Wharf Gallery, Cardiff U.K. (group exhibition)

1996

  • Sculpture projects, Howard Hardens Gallery, Cardiff U.K.

1995

  • Found ’95, Pittville Gallery, Cheltenham. U.K. (group exhibition)

1994

  • Found ‘94, Pittville Gallery, Cheltenham. U.K. (group exhibition)
Joe Hodway and Rankin ©2023