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Kurt Jackson

Kurt Jackson

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Kurt Jackson is an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 painter whose large canvases reflect a concern with natural history, ecology and environmental issues. Born in Blandford, Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

, he developed an early interest in natural history and landscape. He studied zoology at St. Peter's College, Oxford, but spent most of his time attending classes at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, known as The Ruskin, is an art school and research institute at the University of Oxford.Working collaboratively across two sites, the school provides undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the study and production of visual art...

 or painting in the countryside around Oxford. In 1984 he and his wife Caroline Jackson moved to Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

; currently he lives and works near St Just
St Just in Penwith
St Just is a town and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The parish encompasses the town of St Just and the nearby settlements of Trewellard, Pendeen and Kelynack: it is bounded by the parishes of Morvah to the north-east, Sancreed and Madron to the east, St Buryan and Sennen to...

, Penwith
Penwith
Penwith was a local government district in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, whose council was based in Penzance. The district covered all of the Penwith peninsula, the toe-like promontory of land at the western end of Cornwall and which included an area of land to the east that fell outside the...

.

He paints in mixed media, drawing inspiration from the Cornish landscape around Penwith and elsewhere in Britain and abroad. Appearances on British television include 'Kurt Jackson, A Picture of Cornwall' BBC1 South West, 2005 and 'Kurt Jackson, A Picture of the South West', BBC3, 2005.

He has been Artist in Residence on the Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 ship Esperanza at the Eden Project
Eden Project
The Eden Project is a visitor attraction in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, including the world's largest greenhouse. Inside the artificial biomes are plants that are collected from all around the world....

 and at Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

 since 1999. He has an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) from Exeter University and is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford University. He is an ambassador for Survival International
Survival International
Survival International is a human rights organisation formed in 1969 that campaigns for the rights of indigenous tribal peoples and uncontacted peoples, seeking to help them to determine their own future. Their campaigns generally focus on tribal peoples' fight to keep their ancestral lands,...

 and frequently works with Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth International is an international network of environmental organizations in 76 countries.FOEI is assisted by a small secretariat which provides support for the network and its agreed major campaigns...

, WaterAid
WaterAid
WaterAid is an international non-profit organisation set up as a response to the UN International Drinking Water & Sanitation decade . WaterAid is dedicated to helping people escape the poverty and disease caused by living without safe water and sanitation. It is based in London, England and was...

, Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

, Surfers Against Sewage
Surfers against Sewage
Surfers Against Sewage is a campaign for clean, safe recreational water free from sewage effluents, toxic chemicals, nuclear waste and marine litter. SAS also campaigns to protect surf spots from environmental damage, negative impacts on wave quality and to safeguard wave riders right of access....

 and Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
The Cornwall Wildlife Trust is a charitable organisation founded in 1962 that is concerned solely with Cornwall, United Kingdom.It deals with the conservation and preservation of Cornwall's wildlife and habitats managing over 50 nature reserves covering approximately , amongst them Looe...

. He is represented by the Lemon Street Gallery, Truro
Truro
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The city is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population recorded in the 2001 census of 17,431. Truro urban statistical area, which includes parts of surrounding parishes, has a 2001 census...

 and by Redfern Gallery, in Cork Street
Cork Street
Cork Street is a street in Mayfair in the West End of London, England. It is very well known in the British art world for the commercial art galleries that dominate the street. It is located to the north of Burlington House, which houses the Royal Academy, a leading British art institution...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. He is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy
Royal West of England Academy
The Royal West of England Academy is an art gallery where Queens Road meets Whiteladies Road, in Bristol, England.- History :The Academy was the first art gallery in Bristol. Its foundation was financed by a bequest of £2000 in the will of Ellen Sharples in 1849, and a group of artists in...

.

The majority of Jackson's work reflects his commitment to the environment and the natural world within Cornwall, although he also works elsewhere in Britain and mainland Europe; recent projects include bodies of work on the Thames, the Avon
Avon
-Rivers:*River Avon or Avon River , various rivers*Avon Water, a river in Scotland*Afon, the Welsh word for river, often anglicised to 'avon'-Canada:*Avon, New Brunswick, in the province of New Brunswick...

, the Forth
Forth
Forth is a structured, imperative, reflective, concatenative, extensible, stack-based computer programming language and programming environment...

, Ardnamurchan
Ardnamurchan
Ardnamurchan is a peninsula in Lochaber, Highland, Scotland, noted for being very unspoilt and undisturbed. Its remoteness is accentuated by the main access route being a single track road for much of its length.-Geography:...

 and the Glastonbury Festival series. His paintings frequently carry small commentaries on the scene depicted and show a fascination particularly with the detail of plants and animals within an overall ecology and evoke a calm, spiritual and warm relationship with the landscape, even of apparently bleak scenes. His work has been described as "uplifting" and "transporting". To quote Robert Macfarlane
Robert Macfarlane
Robert Macfarlane, , is a British travel writer and literary critic. Educated at Nottingham High School, Pembroke College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford, he is currently a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and teaches in the Faculty of English at Cambridge.-Books:Macfarlane's first...

"the bristling of landscape is Kurt Jackson's subject as an artist, and his brilliance as an artist lies in the success with which he represents his subject"


Artist's statement


"In Cornwall my subjects are mostly places I know well, that I visit over and over again  –  certain areas of coast, moorland and valleys. I tend to work on projects, usually over a year, which are based on a particular aspect of Cornish culture or a distinct tract of countryside. Capturing a fleeting impression doesn't interest me. In all my paintings the aim is to convey my feelings and sense of awareness in that particular environment."

Selected bibliography

  • “Paintings of Cornwall and the Scillies”, Kurt Jackson, 1999, White Lane Press.
  • “The Cape”, Kurt Jackson, Ronald Gaskell, 2002, Truran.
  • “The Thames Project”, 2006, Lemon Street Gallery.
  • "Recent Work", 2011,The Redfern Gallery, London

Further reading

  • Mark Cocker, Helen Dunmore, Bill Hare, Howard Jacobson, Richard Mabey, Philip Marsden, Bel Mooney, William Packer, John Russell Taylor, Tim Smit and Mike Tooby, Kurt Jackson: A New Genre of Landscape Painting (Farnham, Lund Humphries, 978-1-84822-041-6, 2010).

External links