Scouring the British coastline for flotsam, Jo Atherton collects fishing line, netting and other unexpected items for her colourful tapestries. These orphaned objects, curated by the waves, are transformed into exciting, vibrant weavings, to be pondered and read anew. Jo has a keen interest in working with found objects and is fascinated by cultural memory. By collecting ordinary and extraordinary objects from the tideline, her vibrant tapestries become a means of telling stories of our time.


Time & Tide opens 19 January 2016 at Artsitsmeet Gallery, Rickmansworth

Time & Tide opens 19 January 2016 at Artsitsmeet Gallery, Rickmansworth

“There’s something in the water at Artistsmeet as we begin a creative 2016, showcasing an exciting new exhibition with a big pop of colour. The gallery will feature the work of Jo Atherton, an artist who creates fascinating and playful tapestries using debris and materials found from scouring the coastlines of the UK.” Artistsmeet Gallery, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Find out more about the Time & Tide exhibition and your chance to book a place on a free mini flotsam weaving workshop.


  1. I absolutely love the colurs in these jo. They remind my of those bowerbird nests that males buil to attract a mate!

  2. Hello Jo,

    As a life long “Beach Womble” seeing your work has inspired me to produce a piece of my own.

    I was lucky enough to meet Nick Darke a couple of times on cornish beaches, a very interesting and nice guy, a sad loss.

    Loved the Falmouth exhibition, good luck for the future.

    Best. Jules

    1. Hello Jules and thanks for your nice message. It’s always great to meet another ‘beach womble’! I’m really glad that you enjoyed my exhibition in Falmouth and that you will be having a go at weaving yourself. What a wonderful memory to have met Nick Darke on the beach. I would have enjoyed chatting with him, I’m sure.

      Happy beachcombing!


  3. What beautiful colour’s and what inspiration, I will be doing some weaving with my granddaughter when she comes to stay again and looking for materials on the beach which she loves. She is just 7 and we do art together as much as we can when she comes to stay.

  4. Hello Jo,
    I have found the most gratifying thing for my soul that I have ever picked up beachcombing, no one else I have told “gets it” but I suspect you might after reading your comments.

    While walking the lower tidal reaches of the River Severn in the early new year I found a small plastic duck, nothing unusual there, I find many wayward duck race plastic ducks BUT this one was different…..

    It had a brown paper luggage label tied round its neck that had been laminated to stop it getting wet, one side had a short poem the other had a mobile phone number and “Please contact if found”.

    In 30 years of collecting stuff off tidal shores this is a first for me and my mind is racing how long has the duck been in the river ?, who let it go?, Why ?…… and loads more besides.

    I finish my sweep of my favorite bit of river and its a good haul due to the big tide and strong winds. I walk back to the car and send a text ” Just found your duck, in south Gloucestershire, when and where did you let it go ?”.

    Half an hour later I have a reply. ” Each member of our family released a duck to commemorate the loss of our little girl who died , the ducks were released at Ironbridge in Shropshire in early April 2015, we thought we had lost them all now but are very glad to hear one made it that far if not to sea ”

    A few more texts have followed and I got a bit more info from some lovely people, after getting the full details I have decided that the ducks travels are not over yet……

    It took the duck 9 months and it nearly made it all the way down the Severn ( a long and perilous trip) ,had I not picked it up it MAY have made it to sea.

    So I am going to give it a second chance, and relaunch it when the wind and tide are favorable, I hope it makes it under the severn bridges and out to sea !.

    Its nice to trace a found item back to a person , then find out it’s story and nicer still when you can give their wishes a little helping hand in the right direction. :-)

    Happy treasure hunting.

    Take care. Jules

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