Born in Dorset as the son of two painters, the environment has always been intrinsic to Jackson’s identity as an artist. His work, which always reflects this passion for the living natural world, has been largely credited for reimagining nature painting.
He studied zoology at Oxford University, but spent much of his time at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art or exploring the Oxfordshire countryside armed with paintbrushes.
In 1984, he and his wife Caroline relocated to Cornwall, home to the Jackson Foundation Gallery and everyday outdoor studio, drawing inspiration from the abundance of flora, fauna and flashing riptides.
As an artist, Jackson feels he has a responsibility to use his position to support political, environmental and cultural events.
“The Foundation will be supported by the on-going collaboration with environmental organisations and those groups interested in the natural world as well as parts of the educational establishment. The commercial element to some of the exhibition programming will feed into and sustain the Foundation, its aims and survival.
“The work itself has a national and international following and by placing the Gallery in St Just a new link in the art loop will be created in Penwith: St Ives, St Just, Newlyn and Penzance – a trail of art and heritage attractions.”
The centre has sustainability at its very foundations; utilising solar panelling, ground-source heat pumps, rain water collection and energy efficient windows.
Debuting September 2016 will be the Jackson Foundation’s latest exhibition ‘Kurt Jackson: Obsession – Following the surfer’: where Jackson captured his studio assistant on surfing trips around the Cornish coast.
“Often it’s argued that the surfers path is a spiritual one – this connection between the individual and the wave, the ocean hosting its rider, but what is certain is that it opens the eyes of that person to the natural world, to an extraordinarily beautiful and powerful side of nature that needs respect and admiration and in the long run our protection and conservation.”
For Obsession, Kurt Jackson has partnered with Surfers Against Sewage to highlight the charity’s campaign to protect the UK’s oceans, waves and beaches for all to enjoy safely and sustainably.
Places like the Jackson Foundation stimulate this conversation. They encourage us all to experience the astonishing and delicately balanced natural world – in print, paints and plain sight.
The Jackson Foundation Gallery was opened by Kurt and Caroline Jackson, and Triodos Bank funded the redevelopment of phase 2 of the gallery in 2016. Kurt Jackson has been artist in residence on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, at the Eden Project, at Glastonbury Festival since 2009, and is an ambassador for human rights group Survival International.
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