Jojo Hynes


Born in 1983 in Galway, IrelandLives and works in London, United Kingdom


Jojo Hynes’ current practice explores representations of real and fictional female protagonists, playing with hierarchies. She is influenced by where the past and the present meet and overlap, using collage across a range of media including film, sculpture, sound, paint and print.

Jojo Hynes completed her Fine Art degree in GMIT, Galway and an MA in Fine Art at Kingston University, London. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in group and solo shows. Jojo Hynes is a member of Triangular Brush who have created exhibitions, events, publications, and undertaken residencies across London, Ireland and the rest of Europe. She was recently selected by Bow Arts to be the artists in residence at RAW Labs in Royal Albert Wharf London.

Who is your shero and why?

Granuaile (Grace O’Malley) is my shero as she broke the boundaries of what it was to be a woman in the 16th century. Granuaile was the Pirate Queen of Connacht and head of the O’Malley clan. As a child she was told she could not go to sea because her long hair would catch in the ship’s ropes so she cut off most of her hair and this earned her the nickname “Gráinne Mhaol“ (from maol meaning bald or cropped hair), usually anglicised as Granuaile.

When Granuaile’s father died she took over active leadership of the lordship by land and sea, despite having a brother. Slandered by her English opponents as ‘a woman who hath imprudently passed the part of womanhood’, Grace O’Malley was written out of history by chroniclers in Ireland as it was thought she would be a bad influence on women, yet her memory survived in native folklore.

How does the work you are presenting exemplify the theme of ‘sheroes’?

I take inspiration from different parts of Granuaile’s inspiring story, her exploits at sea and her homeland in Clew Bay to create my artworks. In this work I use distinctly feminine materials but any assumptions of weakness these materials might invoke are quashed by their implied use. I put Granuaile to the forefront in the film and art works and, in doing so, I hope to undo the way she was cruelly written out of history by male scholars.


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