Caught by the River

Kurt Jackson – The Dart

30th August 2010

An exhibition of new work by Caught by the River contributor Kurt Jackson.
4 September and 2 October 2010
Lemon Street Gallery
13 Lemon Street,
Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2LS

Press Release:
Childhood memories of rural idyll mixed with a schoolboy’s excited view of war are at the heart of a new exhibition by the renowned West Cornwall-based artist Kurt Jackson.
The show takes place at the prestigious Lemon Street Gallery in Truro this September and tells the story of the artist’s detailed exploration of the River Dart in Devon.

Kurt explained: “I grew up with stories about my father’s evacuation, age 12, from the East End of London to Dartmouth and the rural chapter of his life that he spent there. When I asked him about it he wrote me a kind of diary about having a wonderful childhood by a river, fishing, crabbing and generally playing in the sun.
“He also wrote about the war in Dartmouth with the town being full of commandos doing daring raids across the water and the excitement of being a young lad and witnessing all that and being able to meet and talk to them.

“For me the stories and the material in them were very powerful and so I decided to go first to that place to see if for myself and then to trace the river back and find out where it came from.”

Described in the Financial Times as ‘one of Britain’s most compelling contemporary painters’ Kurt Jackson has had a distinguished careerspanning almost thirty years.

Born in Dorset, he studied Zooology at Oxford before setting off on a journey around the world that was to open his eyes to the depth and details of a myriad of environments and cultures that enrich his work to this day.

For Kurt there is nothing to be gained by capturing a fleeting impression. Instead, his aim is to convey his feelings and sense of awareness of a particular environment that he knows intimately. It is an awareness made all the more intense by his deep understanding of natural history, ecology, politics and environmental issues.

The new show will chart Kurt’s progress as he made his way along the Dart and will be accompanied by a documentary, filmed throughout the journey by his wife Caroline.

Kurt explained: “I very much hope the paintings in the exhibition will reflect the diversity of the landscape. What makes it special is the hugelyrange of terrain that it crosses through from the barren, windswept moorland to the untouched ancient woodland. It is one of those routes with the perfect combination of woods and rock together and aesthetically in terms of its flora and fauna it is absolutely wonderful.”

On show at Lemon Street Gallery will be three floors of Kurt’s work including paintings, sculpture and pottery together with the results of his print-making and a much coveted limited edition artist’s book. Poems written by Kurt during his travels will also be given an airing.

Summing up his journey along the Dart, Kurt said: “I’ve walked the river, swum in it, snorkelled it and boated on it. I’ve tried to become as intimate with it as possible. It was a very fruitful experience and actually a true delight.”

And while we are at it, we should also mention the recently published book, ‘Kurt Jackson – A New Genre of Landscape Painting’. available from Lemon Street Gallery:

Press release:
This visually rich new book has at its centre the artist and the natural world. Jackson’s paintings are set in places that he has travelled to and explored regularly, and are created by an individual with a deep understanding of natural history and ecology, politics and environmental issues.

Offering insights into the extensive range of materials and techniques that the artist uses, Kurt Jackson provides the definitive account of this fascinating artist’s career to date and as such is essential reading for anyone interested in twenty-first century British art.

About the authors: Mark Cocker is an author and naturalist. Helen Dunmore is a novelist, poet, children’s writer and reviewer. Bill Hare is a curator, writer and lecturer in Scottish art history. Howard Jacobson is a novelist and critic. Richard Mabey is a nature writer, reviewer and journalist. Philip Marsden is a novelist and travel writer. Bel Mooney is a journalist and author. William Packer is a painter and critic. John Russell Taylor is a critic and author. Tim Smit is Chief Executive of the Eden project and ex-music producer. Mike Tooby is Director, Learning Programmes, National Museums of Wales.