The good ship LIBERTY
Hampshire Life|November 2020
A call out on Instagram saw this Overton artist being included in the iconic Liberty Book
Sandra Smith

Setting up home in Overton six years ago heralded the beginning of a personal and professional adventure for Jo South. New to Hampshire, this ever-smiling artist quickly fell in love with the county’s topographical highlights where village life, with its festivals, sheep fair and wheelbarrow races perfectly suited the upbeat, nostalgic portraits for which she is known.

Yet although Jo’s whimsical treatment of local places and events is her calling card, the reason I discovered this energetic personality is due to the success her signature style launched on an entirely different subject in an entirely different location.

“I thought thousands of people would apply so there was no point,” Jo reflects, recalling the moment she heard about an Instagram post the iconic store, Liberty, had put out asking for illustrators and doodlers. The timing, coinciding with half-term, also influenced her initial half-hearted response. So what changed her mind?

“I did some research into the building, discovered the story of two warships whose timber was used to create the store, and a couple of mornings later woke up with a really good idea.”

The composition, linking Regent Street’s Tudor revival structure with the origins of its materials, hit the mark and in February this year Jo received an email congratulating her success on being selected for inclusion in the spring edition of the biannual The Liberty Book.

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