Arts Council England
Printable version

Artist creates new worlds inspired by Nottinghamshire history

Throughout lockdown, one artist has been creating a series of work depicting an imaginary world, inspired by Nottinghamshire’s history and literature.

With support from Arts Council, Sheffield artist Joanna Whittle has created a collection of paintings, drawings and ceramics, inspired by Worksop’s Welbeck estate, its history and writing of family ancestor Margaret Cavendish. 

Inside the exhibition, showing a table with six ceramic objects, a glass cabinet and five paintings on the wall.

Exhibition (c) Joanna Whittle

‘Between Islands’ explores the relationship between creating worlds and creating collections and the exhibition describes an imaginary lost civilisation called Do><ia (pronounced Dovia).  When Joanna moved from London and began working in the heritage and community sectors, she started thinking about spaces and the areas between them - and Do><ia was founded.

Drawing from rich fabrics and fine ceramics in the Portland Collection and the landscape of the rural Welbeck estate, Joanna’s small, often postcard-sized paintings show empty spaces with tented structures and fragile ruins, while her ceramics take the form of artefacts associated with her lost world of Do><ia.

An oil painting of a tree in a gold circular frame

Miniature Painting of the Hollow Tree with Ceremonial Stays and Swathes (c) Joanna Whittle

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, recently said:

“Having time to develop, experiment and grow is crucial to creating great art and culture, as it allows artists and other creative practitioners to reach their full potential.

“We’re pleased that this funding from the National Lottery is giving creatives like Joanna the space they need to develop their work and hope it may inspire more people to explore local history and collections in a new and exciting ways.”

Joanna Whittle recently said:

“The Welbeck Estate and the Portland Collection have provided a wealth of inspiration which has been woven into the narratives which underpin the creation of Do><ia. So whilst making the work for this exhibition has been challenging at times, over these past few months, I think a very complete and authentic world has emerged from the paintings and artefacts created and their subsequent arrangement in collaboration with fellow artist David Orme.”

A sorrowing purse made from white and blue ceramic, black satin cord and black ribbon, beeswax_

Sorrowing Purse – ceramic, cord, ribbon and beeswax. (c) Joanna Whittle

Find out more about the exhibition here.

Arts Council’s Developing Your Creative Practice will be reopening in the autumn


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Arts Council England

The State of Cybersecurity in 2023