Jo Gordon has had a love of drawing and painting since she was about six years old. After leaving school, she went to art school to refine her natural talent and gain useful skills and techniques in life drawing.
When Jo’s two children started school at Belair Primary, she secured a position as a school services officer in the library. Soon after she started, the staff realised her artistic ability and before long Jo was responsible for all the displays, backdrops for plays, and decorated blackboards for classrooms.
Jo worked at the school for 32 years and enjoyed her time there very much. During this time, Jo was a member of the Belair Holy Innocents Church and assisted the fellowship with banners and other artistic exploits in the church.
Jo has been part of the Littlehampton community for more than 25 years and feels passionate about the history of the area. In 2009 Jo was commissioned to paint five banners for the 150 year celebration of Littlehampton Bricks.
Now aged 70, and dealing with post-polio syndrome for the past 10 years, Jo still can’t stop painting and giving her time to the community. Although sometimes Jo feels exhausted, she always remains positive and brave and has the courage to go on – just like the Anzacs.
The organisers of the Gunner’s breakfast at the Littlehampton Institute asked Jo to commemorate 100 years of the Anzacs.
The result is this magnificent banner that portrays the story of the Anzacs in Egypt and the landing at Gallipoli. This has been a labour of love that has taken Jo approximately 3 months and some 250+ hours to complete.
At times work has been slow, due to the aches and pains of muscle fatigue from post-polio syndrome and other ailments.
When Jo paints, she loves to listen to loud music to help the artistic flow. She has worked many late nights, and had a few 3 am starts to complete this banner for the community.
During the April school holidays, her grandchildren, Mia (10 years) and Anna (8 years) of Happy Valley, assisted with some of the finishing touches.
Thanks to Jo for sharing her story.