Kurt Jackson

Contemporary British landscape artist Kurt Jackson has an amazing collection of works Inspired By The Coast. Read on to discover more about him as an artist, environmentalist, and about his projects that have been inspired by the coast.

Meet the artist 

Contemporary art journal Studio International visited Kurt Jackson in and around his West Cornwall studio to produce this short film. This piece explores Kurt’s environmental politics, inspiration and gifts us a rare glimpse inside the large industrial space Jackson purchased to serve as an environmentally informed art space near the centre of his hometown St Just in Penwith.

Largely influenced by current concerns for the natural world, and seen from an environmental perspective, Kurt become fascinated by the dynamic element of change through both our own pressures and the natural processes upon the earth: habitat loss, biodiversity changes, sea level rise, storm surges, erosion, deposition, agriculture, extraction, the fishing industry, rural employment, heritage, identity. Many of these pressures directly impact the South West Coast Path, to find out more visit our Every Mile Matters campaign page. 

Revisiting Turner's Tourism

Kurt Jackson - Revisiting Turner's Tourism (2016) from Kurt Jackson Contemporary Artist on Vimeo.

This film sees Kurt Jackson retracing the steps of JMW Turner’s journeys to the West Country, which he first visited in 1811. Turner would usually take the fast coach from London to his jumping-off point and travel more slowly after that, in carriages or wagons but more often than not, by walking from place to place, sketching as he went.

Turner (and now Jackson) both feature a number of iconic locations on the South West Coast Path including: Land's End, Beacon Hill in Falmouth, Fowey Harbour, Devonport in Plymouth and Boscastle Harbour - which have all been shaped over time by manmade and natural changes. Through this project, Jackson revisits the sites that Turner captured in his pursuit of ‘the picturesque’ looking at how these locations changed in the intervening 200 years.

Through this ‘conversation’ with Turner, Jackson discovers not only how difficult it can be to pin down some of these locations, but also the amount of artistic licence in the source material. In Turner's hands distances may be telescoped, physical features exaggerated, separate views combined in seeking to present the essence of a place. Of the many, many Turner works, a dozen were chosen to show these profound changes and distortions within the south west. 

This film was originally produced to accompany the touring exhibition ‘Kurt Jackson: Revisiting Turner’s Tourism’ at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (2016) and the Jackson Foundation Gallery, St Just, Cornwall (2018).

Kurt told us what the Coast Path means to him

“This amazing path, this route, this physical line marks the edge, the margin of our country. It divides the maritime from the terrestrial; it is at a meeting point where the elements collide, nature thrives and we experience the environment in its raw state. For me it is my workplace, a studio as well as a location for relaxation and contemplation. Here I draw and paint, find inspiration and witness nature at first hand. It is precious, challenging, diverse and important; it deserves our respect and care. Here we should tread lightly."

Exhibitions

Find out more

Jackson Foundation | North Row | St Just | TR19 LB