A dedicated environmentalist and true polymath, Jackson’s holistic approach to his subject seamlessly blends art and politics providing a springboard to create a hugely varied body of work unconstrained by format or scale.
Jackson’s artistic practice ranges from his trademark visceral plein-air sessions to studio work and embraces an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print-making and sculpture.
The son of artists, Jackson was born in Blandford, Dorset in 1961. While studying Zoology at Oxford University he spent most of his time painting and attending courses at Ruskin College of Art. On gaining his degree he travelled extensively and independently, painting wherever he went before putting down roots in Cornwall with his wife Caroline in 1984.
Jackson’s focus on the complexity, diversity and fragility of the natural world has led to artist-in-residencies on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, the Eden Project and for nearly 20 years Glastonbury Festival which has become a staple of his annual working calendar.
Over the past thirty years Jackson has had numerous art publications released to accompany his exhibitions. Four monographs on Jackson have been published by Lund Humphries depicting his career so far; A New Genre of Landscape Painting (2010), Sketchbooks (2012), A Kurt Jackson Bestiary (2015) and Kurt Jackson’s Botanical Landscape (2019). A Sansom & Company published book based on his touring exhibition Place was released in 2014.
Jackson regularly contributes to radio and television and presents environmentally informed art documentaries for the BBC and was the subject for an award winning BBC documentary, ‘A Picture of Britain’.
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 and frequently works with Greenpeace, WaterAid, Oxfam and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. He is a patron of human rights charity Prisoners of Conscience. He is represented by Messum’s in Cork Street, London and is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy.
Kurt Jackson and his wife Caroline live and work in the most-westerly town in Britain, St Just-in-Penwith where in 2015 they set up the Jackson Foundation. They have three grown children and seven young grandchildren.
From Friday 5 June
A series of 25 paintings positioned on a tideline, a point on the coast to engage with the idea of this shifting transient marker. For this collection Kurt chose Port Quin as his inspiration, a North Cornish cove he has known since childhood.
“Being on this particular rocky shoreline, focussing on this slow daily process, time ruled. Here the tideline was subtle, not marked by a line of deposited items but simply the delineation between the wet and dry. The relationship between the sea’s ebb and flow and the topography of the coast is determined by the clock. Watching the water creeping up and down, in and out of the cove is like watching the hands of a cock rotating on a clock face,the twice daily rise and fall of the sea level is arguably time made visible almost tangible.”
from Saturday 20 June
Such is the popularity of Kurt’s work that paintings of this scale are rarely available and these are arguably some of his most important in that they capture unique moments in time, that can never be repeated.
Kurt Jackson has been artist in residence at Glastonbury Festival for the past twenty years. These significant paintings on canvas depict his unique record of the world’s most famous music festival, painted over the past ten years. They include scenes of massed, ecstatic armies, lost revellers, panoramic landscapes of waving flags, neon, and the wood smoke that swirls across the Vale of Avalon after summer solstice.
“I sketch and draw and paint and scribble above the crowds, in the crowds, under peoples feet, in their faces; I aim to immerse myself in the Glastonbury experience and come away with some kind of record on paper showing what I’ve seen, felt and experienced.” he explains.
“The great thing about Glastonbury is that it’s about fun and delight (and a bit of hedonism) but also engages with the serious issues of the future of the planet and our environment. I’ve been at most of the festivals, I’ve painted over a quarter of them.”
Kurt Jackson has for a long time been a champion of the environmental movement. Whilst his paintings, with their range of media and texture and their three dimensionality, are clear calls to experience the physicality of the world first hand – to get in there amongst it all, to realise that this landscape – so threatened as rivers […]
Wednesday 17 June, 6:30pm
Join us for an online talk and Q&A with the landscape artist Kurt Jackson during the week his new exhibition ‘Time & Tide: the Port Quin Paintings’ opens on our website.
The show consists of a series of 25 paintings positioned on a tideline, a point on the coast to engage with the idea of this shifting transient marker. For this collection Kurt chose Port Quin as his inspiration, a North Cornish cove he has known since childhood.