Living alone, close to the South Downs my walks took on renewed importance during lockdown and became a lifeline for my mental health. I began making three-dimensional abstract interpretations of each walk I undertook. These “walk boxes” aim to capture something of the walk’s essence and often incorporate found materials collected on the walk. Their delicate build and sense of impermanence reflects our own fragile relationship with nature and our environment. They can be handled gently, turned over to give a sense of changing weather, light and vistas. The box form suggests the isolation and confines of the home, and the rigid constraints on our liberties – in contrast with the freedom experienced being out in nature, walking – whilst also presenting them as precious gifts. Laid out together as one installation, or broken into smaller groupings defined by season, type of walk or area, they are records of time; gifts from nature.
Jo Delafons’s work reflects the strong emotional and physical connection she feels with the landscape surrounding where she lives, in West Sussex. Her delicate mixed media constructions convey a sense of place and are imbued with a subtle emotional charge. Their fragile build reflects our own fragile relationship with nature and our environment. She often incorporates found objects and materials she finds whilst walking and exploits the properties of varied materials inventively, giving her work a sensory appeal which triggers memories and associations for the viewer.