South African artist Jo Roets's background is in the film industry where she worked as an artist in the art department. She also had a full time lecturing career, in painting, prosthetics, special effects, props fabrication, sculpting, mould-making and casting at a multimedia film school. In 2017, after 14 years as a senior lecturer, Jo exchanged her lecturing apron for that of full time artist. Jo is a recovering alcoholic. This year she will celebrate her 6th year of sobriety. Her courage to embrace sobriety and follow her creative drive are deeply intertwined. In the early days of her recovery programme, Jo met a diverse range of people from all walks of life - all with the same condition. Her work is born from a profound recognition that, although our circumstances differ, essentially we all share a common humanity. Her artworks are a deep celebration of this recognition. In 2018, Jo's work was selected for three prominent art competitions, was announced as the winner of the inaugural StateoftheART Gallery Award and had her first solo exhibition, in May 2019, at StateoftheART Gallery. Jo's work has been exhibited at various South African galleries and, in 2020 Jo started exhibiting internationally at Galeria Begbie & Coll, Spain. Artist Statement I call my artworks 'light relief sculptures’; created from an air-drying clay medium which is rolled out until paper thin to create a delicate bass relief sculpture. Using unusual sculpting tools such as toothpicks and needles, the damp surface of the clay is scored with indents, holes and incisions. The clay medium is manipulated to be as thin as possible, pushing it to its breaking point and encouraging it to warp in the process. This warping quality is unique to each artwork and unplanned. Created during lockdown, at a time when the whole world stopped. I was trying to make sense of it all; things felt like they were falling apart, but at the same time I also had a feeling that everything was coming together. I needed to create and document this moment. With clay stocks running low, shops and couriers coming to an abrupt halt, I found off-cut pieces of clay that I kept from my solo. I used these as a starting point; to convey the feeling of being unconnected and connected at the same time; to express the feeling of things falling apart whilst still being stuck together. The whole experience of creating this piece was rewarding in the sense that it ran parallel with a lockdown theme that was playing out in my personal life - "work with what you have". Re-use, re-purpose and re-imagine. Sometimes the only constant in life is to trust in the process.