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