31 episodes

Join art historian Jo McLaughlin as she delves into the wonderful world of art history in a different way!

Jo’s aim is to begin breaking down the elitism which surrounds the subject of art history and believes in order to do so, it’s important to create a space where everyone from all walks of life have the opportunity to talk about art that is meaningful to them; as let’s face it, if you are passionate about something, you are going to be good at talking about it!

Painting, sculpture, architecture, jewellery, ceramics, design – no subject is off limits on Jo’s Art History Podcast.

Jo's Art History Podcast Jo McLaughlin

    • Arts

Join art historian Jo McLaughlin as she delves into the wonderful world of art history in a different way!

Jo’s aim is to begin breaking down the elitism which surrounds the subject of art history and believes in order to do so, it’s important to create a space where everyone from all walks of life have the opportunity to talk about art that is meaningful to them; as let’s face it, if you are passionate about something, you are going to be good at talking about it!

Painting, sculpture, architecture, jewellery, ceramics, design – no subject is off limits on Jo’s Art History Podcast.

    28. The 'Ideal' Female Form in Art with Bryony Large

    28. The 'Ideal' Female Form in Art with Bryony Large

    Welcome back to the Jo’s Art History Podcast 

    Today I sit down with art historian Bryony Large for a brilliant conversation discussing the changing representation of the female figure throughout art history and what is/was considered as ‘the ideal female form.’

    This is a massive topic as you can imagine and Bryony has done an amazing job at selecting 4 corner stone works from within the Canon of Art History as a way of introducing this topic and to get you thinking about the changing perception of the female form.

    We discuss the male gaze in classical art history in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and what is arguably believed to be the first painting ever that sees a woman own her sexuality,  Manet’s Olympia.

    We also discuss Jenny Saville, an artist who as Bryony so brilliantly puts it is ‘the destroyer of false fetishes’ as well as discussing the lack of representation of disabled bodies and why Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper sculpture is so important to make you think and look again at not only what we do see, but what we do not see represented within art!


    Bryony Large

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanartjunkie/?hl=en

    Website: https://www.confessionsofanartjunkie.com/


    Jo McLaughlin

    Instagram: https://linktr.ee/josarthistory

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/josarthistory

    Works discuss & Further Reading:

    1) Birth of Venus (1485/86) by Sandro Botticelli

    Great Artsy Article about the Importance of Venus in culture: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-botticellis-birth-venus-pop-culture


    The male gaze:


    Women in Art: https://artsandculture.google.com/usergallery/the-portrayal-of-women-throughout-history/WwIyY2IMPqeoKw

    2) Olympia (1863) by Edouard Manet

    Article: https://www.widewalls.ch/magazine/edouard-manet-olympia

    3) Propped (1992) by Jenny Saville

    Articles: https://www.artlyst.com/features/jenny-saville-propped-1992-significant-works-sue-hubbard/

    4) Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005) by Marc Quinn (sculpture)

    Guardian Article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/sep/13/arts.artsnews

    Alison Lapper Website: https://www.alilapper.com/about

    • 53 min
    27. Is Drawing Important With Brian Kielt

    27. Is Drawing Important With Brian Kielt


    It is good to be back with a fresh new episode after a week off!

    It’s Episode 27 and today, I sat down with artist, Brian Kielt, to discuss how different artists tackle the practise and concept of drawing. When Brian suggested talking about this, I had never really given much thought to the history and importance of drawing within art; but as you will see from our chat, where we take a deep dive into the works of FIVE artists, no two of approach drawing in the same way nor hold it in the same importance within their practise.

    From the sketchbooks of Leonardo  Di Vinci and the loose markings of Maggi Hambling, to the final work of Francis Bacon and erased masterpieces, Brian and I ask the questions:

    Is drawing important?

    When did collecting drawings become the norm in the art world?


    If an artist draws on a napkin - is it a work of art because it’s by the hand of an artist - or is it just a doodle?

    This was an excellent chat which really got me thinking about just how varied EVERYONE'S approach to drawing is. And that really - there is no right and wrong way of drawing - it's something that comes down to personal taste and practise.

    I’d love to know your thoughts so please do get in touch! Contact info below!

    Guest: Brian Keilt


    Website: https://www.briankielt.com/


    Host: Jo McLaughlin

    Instagram: @josarthistory

    Website: www.josarthistory.com

    Email: josarthistory@gmail.com

    • 1 hr 1 min
    REVISIT - Frida Kahlo with Rebecca Milford

    REVISIT - Frida Kahlo with Rebecca Milford

    I've decided to give myself a wee Easter holiday this week and following on from International Women's month I have dipped into the podcast archive to revisit this brilliant episode all about Frida Kahlo with Rebecca Milford!

    To remind you:

    On today’s podcast Jo sits down with Rebecca Milford, founder of cosmic cures, about one of the 20th century’s most iconic figures - FRIDA KAHLO.

    Frida Kahlo is a larger than life icon in today’s society, but throughout her life suffered not only immense pain due to an accident which happened to the artist in her youth, but was known as the wife of the famous Mexican mural painter, Diego Rivera, only really began receiving recognition in the few years before her death.

    Known for her powerful self portraits Kahlo is now a force to be reckoned with in the history of art.

    Join Jo and Rebecca as they discuss Frida’s works, her rocky relationship with her husband Diego, the illnesses that plagued her and her love of life.

    Guest: Rebecca Milford

    Website: https://www.cosmiccures.co.uk/

    Instagram: @cosmic_cures

    Host: Jo McLaughlin

    Website: www.josarthistory.com

    Instagram: @josarthistory


    The Henry Ford Hospital, 1932

    The Two Fridas, 1939

    The Broken Column, 1944

    Viva la Vida, 1952

    Case Azul, The Blue House now the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico.

    All images referred to on the show can be found on my website here: www.josarthistory.com or on my Instagram page @josarthistory

    Frida Kahlo Resources:

    This is a GREAT overview video about the life and works of Frida Kahlo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Vz9xdMNuA

    Tour of Casa Azule - this also give you a wee look into Kahlo’s wardrobe! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCT4hrZiQaY

    A great wee video on the the painting The Two Frida’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vigep1nYT6o

    There are also several books written on Frida which you can find in any good book shop and there is also a film made about her life which stars Salma Hayek. This film was released in 2002 and can be watched on youtube for c.£2.50. (Please note this price was actuate at the time of recording - this may have changed)

    • 34 min
    26. Perfume as Practise with Michael Borkowsky

    26. Perfume as Practise with Michael Borkowsky

    It’s episode 26 of Jo’s Art History Podcast! Well, I have an incredibly fascinating episode for you all this week! Today, I sit down with artist and perfumer of the people, Michael Borkowsky to talk about the history of perfume and WHY this is an art form in itself. From magical positions for everlasting youth to bottling the scent of the new modern day woman, Michael takes us on a whistle stop tour on the art of perfume through the ages. Only discovering and falling in love with the art and practise of making perfume few years ago, it has taken Michael on an incredible journey of history and alchemy which has now intertwined into his artistic practise. What is even more interesting though is perfume has always held an important place within different societies throughout the history of the world. This is an incredibly interesting chat with Michael and we also mention his absolutely brilliant series on youtube called ‘Plague for Plague Sake’ which you can find a link to in the show notes below! Michael has an incredibly interesting practise so please do check him out below: Guest: Michael Borkowsky Artist & Perfumer of the people! Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mborkowsky/ Website: https://www.michaelborkowsky.com/ Contact: borkowskyart@gmail.com Michael runs Frontier Gallery: https://www.instagram.com/fronteer_art/ Michael’s Series Plague for Plague’s sake: https://www.instagram.com/mborkowsky/channel/ Notes from Michael at a glance & Further reading: Tapputi the Chemist (1200 BC) - Tapputi is considered to be one of the worlds first perfumers. She used flowers and herbs local to Egypt and combined them with water and solvents which were subsequently filtered. Her perfume making process and use of local materials has informed a facet of my own work, whereby I have made fragrances using Sheffield's river water in order to evoke a sense of place. As an aside, Egypt was also the country that founded the idea of the perfume bottle, which in itself is steeped in history. Short Video on the History of Tapputi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baHU3GL2J-Y Article on the history of Tapputi: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/29/tapputi/ Hungary Water (1370-1470 AD) - One of the first alcohol-based perfumes created in Europe, Hungary Water has somewhat dubious origins but was thought to be created by an alchemist-Monk as a possible means to cure Queen Elizabeth of Hungary's headaches. As such, it's an example of how perfume was used as medicine. This provided me with inspiration to create a video series, entitled 'Plague for Plague's Sake', that sees me recreate some somewhat dubious historical plague cures by utilising the art of perfumery. Lush - History of Hungry Water: https://uk.lush.com/ingredients/queen-hungary-water Hungary Water Wiki Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary_water Victorians and Flowers (1850 - 1900) - While the idea that flowers have symbolic meaning has been recognised for centuries, it was popularised by the Victorians, where deciphering the meanings became both a pastime and a way of sending messages. The idea that scent can be a means of communication highlights how perfume can be an art form. The Language of Flowers: https://bit.ly/36Dnkgl What did Victorian Ladies Smell like: https://bust.com/style/19232-a-victorian-lady-s-guide-to-perfume.html Chanel No 5 (1921) - Chanel No 5 was created by the perfumer Earnest Beaux in 1921 for Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel as a means of appealing to the progressive feminist attitudes of 1920's women. Beaux offered Chanel 10 vials of scent, and her favourite was the 5th vial, hence the name Chanel No 5. Chanel also believed she had something of an affinity with the number 5, which may have influenced her decision. The narrative of how Chanel No 5 came about is a story of collaboration, superstition and artistry which influences my...

    • 54 min
    25. Finding Your Way Into The Arts with Nico Paws

    25. Finding Your Way Into The Arts with Nico Paws

    ⭐ Welcome back to the Jo’s Art History Podcast! ⭐

    It’s episode 25 and I thought I would try something a little different today.

    I sit down with regular podcast guest Nicole McLaughlin aka, Nico Paws, to talk about how each of us ended up finding our way into the arts.

    Although Nicole and I are sisters and we would definitely class ourselves as creatives, our paths into study and work COULD NOT BE more different.

    Nicole and I ask each other 5 questions about our education, why we picked the subjects we did, why we like art, what we wish we knew and any advice for anyone going forward into the working world or thinking of studying an arts based subject.

    When I was studying, I would of found something like this really helpful. Just to see that the road into education is not always a straight line and that feeling intimidated or not good enough is part of the experience and something everyone goes through.

    Furthermore, I would of found it great to know that  learning  to overcome these feelings is also an important part of the journey!

    I hope you enjoy!

    Jo x

    • 52 min
    24. Art As An Immersive Experience with Lauren Harrison

    24. Art As An Immersive Experience with Lauren Harrison

    Welcome Back!!

    This week on the Jo’s Art History podcast I sit down with Leeds based visual artist and art world professional Lauren Harrison to discuss the idea of art as a full immersive experience.

    Well, first of all, what do we mean by saying ‘a full immersive experience'; as this is not a phrase really associated with art and the art world.

    Well - it should be and there are plenty of artists out there creating incredible works which soul success lie in audience interaction and participation.

    Lauren talks us through three such examples of ‘art as a full immersive experience’ and we debate the pros and cons of the art world fully embracing the digital age.

    This is an incredible chat which really will get you thinking. So sit back and relax as Lauren and I discuss, Art as an Immersive Experience.


    Lauren Harrison

    Website: https://laurenharrisonartist.wordpress.com/

    Email: lcharrison89@googlemail.com

    Instagram: Brews_&_Chats


    Jo McLaughlin

    Instagram: https://linktr.ee/josarthistory

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/josarthistory

    1. Pipilotti Rist '‘Selfless in the Bath of Lava’. (1994)

    Video of the artist in a sea of lava and fire looking up from a small hole in the floor of the gallery forcing the audience to physically manipulate themselves to see the piece.


    Google Arts & Culture: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/selfless-in-the-bath-of-lava-pipilotti-rist/ngGN2VwAME_IZQ?hl=en

    2. Van Gogh experience


    VR experience of Van Goghs work where the audience gets to walk 'amongst' the pieces and immerse themselves in digital paintings. The space as they know it is transformed as they explore the world that has been created for them.

    The Light workshop in Paris: https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/en

    3. Chris Milk - Treachery of The Sanctuary (2012)


    The audience interacts with the piece across 3 panels that represent birth, death and transfiguration - Without their participation, the piece could not exist.

    Some other artists of interest:

    TeamLab: https://www.teamlab.art/

    • 53 min

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