Kurt Jackson, River Avon Part 2: from Bath to Avonmouth
An evocative new exhibition by one of Britain’s most exciting landscape artists is to get its world premiere at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery.
For this exhibition, which runs from 1st August to 4th October at the gallery, Cornish-based artist Kurt Jackson has created a series of paintings encapsulating the atmosphere and feel of the River Avon, from Bath as far as Avonmouth where the Avon joins the Severn.
Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “Most of the pictures were created out-of-doors during the last few years. Locations visited along this fluvial route include the well known, in Bath and Bristol , as well as those less visited secret stretches. Kurt Jackson is one of this country’s leading contemporary artists. The paintings show his direct connection with nature, and the series is a fantastic visual document of the river.”
The paintings range in size from a few inches across to over 10 feet wide.
William Packer, art critic and painter, noted: “We too tread his project-trail along the bank, by the sketch-books he fills and the paintings he has made, sit with him in the sun, listen with him to the birds that he makes note of on his margins, to the rustle in the grass, and the gentle rushing of the water.”
Entrance for the stunning exhibition is free of charge, and the proceeds of the sale of 3 of the paintings will be donated to the charity Oxfam.
In the artist’s own words: “When I was a kid I used to spend weekends with my grandparents on the Somerset/ Wiltshire border. One of the highlights of these trips was early on the Sunday morning before the rest of the family were awake, my father and I would creep out of the house to walk across the misty, dew covered fields towards Bradford-on- Avon. This is my first memory of this fine English river.”
He added: “Over the last few years I’ve completed several projects about rivers – in this country and on the continent. To follow a river from its source as it grows and changes, erodes and meanders, evolving itself and the land; this is not just a journey, getting to know the river itself, but is also about discovering and understanding the host countryside – the history, people, culture, wildlife. The river becomes a metaphor for life itself.”
This is the third time that Kurt Jackson has shown work at the Victoria Art Gallery. His previous exhibition River Avon Part 1, held in summer 2007, proved hugely popular, attracting 14,700 visitors.
Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I am delighted that we are able to show these beautiful scenes locally, the paintings offer a stunning view of the changing face of the river as it passes through our district. I hope people will enjoy seeing their local landmarks portrayed so beautifully.”
A fantastic concise book with the entire exhibition reproduced is available at the gallery. A film by the artist’s daughter Zinzi Jackson about the exhibition is being shown at the same time.
All the paintings will be for sale, and full details about the exhibition are available on the Gallery’s website at www.victoriagal.org.uk or by calling 01225 477233.
The Victoria Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1.30-5pm. The Gallery is closed on Monday and admission is free.
note; not only can he paint ’em, he can write about ’em too. See ‘Sourced in The West’, Kurts contribution to ‘A Collection of Words on Water’