Saturday, 17 October 2015

Kurt Jackson at the Victoria Art Gallery

I'm on the  Victoria Art Gallery's mailing list, and was idly looking through the email they sent to find out what exhibitions were coming up and was delighted to find there was a Kurt Jackson
exhibition entitled 'Place', opening on the 10 October and running until 3 January 2016. Not only a KJ exhibition, but also a talk given by him on the opening day at 11.30am.
I arrived in plenty of time, about 10.15am, and watched the gallery fill up, and levels of excitement reach fizzing point as 11.30am approached. I bought a copy of the book accompanying the exhibition, the poster, some postcards and cards before the talk in the hope I could get the book signed.
 Above the poster for the exhibition which is the culmination of a project where Kurt wrote to 33 people asking them if they'd like to take part in the project  to choose a location somewhere in Britain that has special meaning to or for them. If they wanted to take part,  they were to write to Kurt naming the place they had chosen, followed by a page about why that place is important to them, taking whatever angle they wanted, then send it to Kurt with any instructions to special times of year or day to visit it. In return, Kurt would give everyone taking part a limited edition etching of 'his place'. He also produced three paintings or responses in the form of mixed media collections or bronzes or ceramics, photographs of which appear in the book 'Place' which accompanies the exhibition, along with the writing from people asked to join the project by naming their place.
I took photographs of the paintings I loved the most before Kurt gave his talk, here they are:
The one above is one from Kurt's residency at Glastonbury, and although Michael Eavis was one of the writers, this wasn't one of his responses to Worthy View, but is glorious.

The photo above shows the gallery space at the Victoria Art Gallery with two large paintings at the end of the room, and a few people gathered by 10.30am.
Above is Bat Hall, Dorset the painting is called 'Summer's evening, Bat hall, pigeon coo, rook caw', chosen by Ian Collins, a writer and curator whose books include the best selling monograph on John Craxton.
Above this is 'And behind me the cliffs of Penarth are slipping and whispering', from Penarth Head, chosen by Philip Gross, poet, a writer for children and professor of creative writing at the University of South Wales.
The painting above inspired by Chalk Ford, Scorriton, Devon called 'Midge nibble, stream trickle', was suggested by poet Alice Oswald.
Above 'Frozen Loch Morlich, ice crack, chaffinch song, geese honk' from the Cairngorms chosen by Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and The Old Ways.
This is 'It's all so wet. Bristol Docks. Sirens, traffic, sparrow cheep' , and below
 'Scorcher Femi Kuti on the Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury.', a massive painting measuring 200x320cm
I did take more photos of favourite paintings, but they weren't very clear; it's of course best to go and see the exhibition for yourself.
I was very pleased with this photo of Kurt Jackson during his talk, possibly talking about large canvasses. I've now almost read the book 'Place', it's very moving and has changed the way I feel about my sense of place. A fab experience hearing Kurt Jackson speak about his love of the environment and interpreting it through his projects.

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