Jo Haycock

Portrait of Jo Haycock

Jo Haycock is a documentary and environmental portrait photographer from Monmouthshire, South Wales, focusing on the connections and relationships people have between each other and the spaces and objects they live within.

Her love of photography began as a child, when she used to sit in the corner of the family bathroom-turned-darkroom, watching her father create prints from the situations he captured on the streets of Hong Kong, where she grew up. Jo now spends time with families and communities recording their stories. She believes in connecting with the people she photographs, going on a journey with them to genuinely feel and see a part of their lives.

Jo’s photographic practice also includes longer-term social and personal photographic projects. She spent a year with a local Women's Aid group, creating a body of work showing the empowerment and hope of the women and children who had previously suffered in their lives through domestic abuse, and were in the process of re-building their lives. She also collaborates with other artists to help tell community stories, bringing together a range of disciplines, from theatre performance, to mosaic and documentary photography. Her current long-term personal project is Discarded With Honour, which explores the relationships and talks about the objects we have in our lives, but that no longer serve us.

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Through My Childhood Window

Through My Childhood Window is a personal photographic project exploring Jo’s feelings and memories of each room, through a window, in her parents’ house. A photograph of them in a different room was made each time she delivered their food shopping, as they shielded during the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.

The memories that these rooms hold from the years that she lived in this house were strong to her during these brief food delivery doorstep visits. It is not only the home that she grew up in with her sister, it is also the home where extended family have continued to gather for events. Each photograph of each room has a connecting story from her childhood there.

After a few food drops she realised she needed a more focused and creative outlet to journal these feelings and memories - a more tangible way of expressing some of the emotions they were all feeling at this time.

Her parents have contributed to the creative process, often recalling their own feelings as Jo shared her version of events. The creative focus that this personal project brought to the family became part of their daily lockdown lives. A phone conversation after the shopping list would follow with a discussion of what room was to be photographed next and the logistics around how it could happen.

It’s become a gift to us all. It’s about my childhood stories being recalled and relived during an unprecedented and historical time. Mostly it’s become an emotively visual journal for our own family album and for future generations of it to come.