Sunday, 4 January 2009

Kurt Jackson In Action

When Vivien began her Inland Waterways Project several years ago, she introduced us to the work of Kurt Jackson. His landscape work instantly grabbed my attention. His work is spontaneous, energetic and most of all, deeply connected to the land and water he paints.

Recently, I found this video. As I watched him, I was reminded of how large a debt contemporary artists owe to Jackson Pollock. Although I appreciated Pollock's commitment to mark making, I did not really understand his importance in the art world. I admire Pollock's courage to make art that was totally outside expected norms of the time.

Kurt Jackson, building on Jackson Pollack's style of mark making, allows him self the freedom to express himself with a sort of controlled chaos. He splats, splashes, literally throws paint on the canvas. What's fascinating is that not only are his own gestures important but the process of painting out doors leaves him open to what nature can give back. He incorporates bits of the earth around him in his painting; salt water sprayed from the waves, what ever the wind deposits on the surface. Everything is useful. His paintings are also a collaboration with the environment in which he creates them. The work has an actual physical link to the land.

Messum's of London has devoted considerable time and effort to presenting Kurt Jackson's work. Here is a link for their collection of video's on his work. You may want to take some time there to see his paintings, learn about his background, browse the book section. (Tina thanks for the reminder about their publications.)

Watching Kurt Jackson paint has inspired me and helped me find a new direction for my own work. I want to feel free to use the energy of my experiences to direct the mark making. I want to leave a physical record of the trail my tools make in creating the image. What I most want is to trust myself and my creative impulses.

His work can also be seen here: Lemon Street Gallery


Katherine Tyrrell said...

That's a really great idea Lindsay!

You've shown me the link to this video before (privately) but I never get tired of him - and I really appreciate why you and Vivien like him so much.

He's got an exhibition on at Messum's this month (14th-31st January)- I think I have to go and look!

This is the link to the exhibition - looks like he's switched his focus to trees Forest Gardens

This is the link to the Messum's artist's page for Kurt Jackson

Lindsay said...

Thanks very much Katherine. I love this new work of his and ordered the catalogue. Wish I could join you in seeing the new exhibit!

Stacy said...

Lindsay, thank you so much for the link to Kurt Jackson's videos. I somehow had not heard of him before. It watched the "Picture of Cornwall" video and found it absolutely fascinating! His work is fantastic and I love that he doesn't at all treat it like it is precious. I also loved that he freely talked about his doubts during the creation process - things like not wanting to have a sleepless might worrying about if he will ever again paint a good painting. I guess no matter how successful you are, at some level we are all the same. Now I'm off to follow Katherine's link. Thanks again!

Lindsay said...

Stacy I'm so glad you like his work. I agree with you about his expressing his doubt...He's on of the UK's hottest painters and its reassuring that he has some of the same junk running through his head that all of us do too!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Thanks for this great post Lindsay, as KAtherine says, this video is so full of inspiration, you can't tire of it!
and it's great to hear about your new goals/desires. They sound full of energy and drive and motivation...go for it!

Gesa said...

This is a great post... I say without even having watched the video... Hm, I very much like the idea of KJ working on trees (makes me think of fields and woods); now: to research the possibility to get to London before the end of the month.
Thank you, Lindsay!

vivien said...

Great post Lindsay :>) and I so agree about the marks, the story of the making of the painting being important.

There are more videos on the Messum link the - and I've done my follow on post as we arranged :>)

Jeanette said...

This is very interesting Lindsay. Kurt's work is wonderful and love how unpretentious he is. Everyone should be this way and perhaps most artists are, just the art critics prefer to create something different.

I would love to see his work in person, the scale and subject would be great. The move over into trees has its appeal as well and may be combined with water.

Lindsay said...

Thanks Ronell, Gesa, Vivien and Jeanette. I'm just totally amazed watching him create his paintings. He has that controlled chaos that makes his work so exciting. I also like how he's very concerned with the health of the land. This new tree project has some pretty interesting conceptual underpinnings.

muddy red shoes said...

isnt he a star that lad Kurt. His work is great, very passionate and elemental and what a studio, wish I had that sort of space, oh and the sell out shows would be good too!
Did you see the vidio of him painting underwater!! That is extream plien air, or perhaps plein eau!

Lindsay said...

Sarah, I saw that and anyone who actually paints under water deserves to be in Watermarks;>)

Phyllis O'Shields Fine Art said...

I am trying to find the procedure for applying to join this group, my art is made up of about 95% seascapes, always featuring the ocean. and
Can you help me with this information ? I have gone through the web site and cannot seem to find the format to apply, many thanks Phyllis O'Shields

vivien said...

Hi Phyllis - we are a group of friends so at the moment the group is limited to just 'us', keeping it deliberately small.

We never intended it to be a huge site like Urban Sketchers I'm afraid but just a group of like minded friends discussing work.

Why not start a group?

This one was initially my idea, Watermarks was my idea for the name, and I contacted online friends asking them to join with me.

Organisation isn't my strong point so Katherine kindly set up the blog beautifully she and Lindsay were key to the early days.

If you contact a group of online friends and share the workload you could have a supportive and challenging group going on.