A dedicated environmentalist and true polymath, Jackson’s holistic approach to his subject seamlessly blends art and politics providing a springboard to create a hugely varied body of work unconstrained by format or scale.
Jackson’s artistic practice ranges from his trademark visceral plein-air sessions to studio work and embraces an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print-making, the written word and sculpture.
The son of artists, Jackson was born in Blandford, Dorset in 1961. While studying Zoology at Oxford University he spent most of his time painting and attending courses at Ruskin College of Art. On gaining his degree he travelled extensively and independently, painting wherever he went before putting down roots in Cornwall with his wife Caroline in 1984.
A dedication to and celebration of the environment is intrinsic to both his politics and his art; a holistic involvement with his subject informs his formal innovations. Jackson’s focus on the complexity, diversity and fragility of the natural world has led to artist-in-residencies on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, the Eden Project and for nearly 20 years the Glastonbury Festival, which has become a staple of his annual working calendar.
Over the past thirty years Jackson has had numerous art publications released to accompany his exhibitions. Four monographs on Jackson have been published by Lund Humphries depicting his career so far; A New Genre of Landscape Painting (2010), Sketchbooks (2012), A Kurt Jackson Bestiary (2015) and Kurt Jackson’s Botanical Landscape (2019). A Sansom & Company published book based on his touring exhibition Place was released in 2014. Jackson regularly contributes to radio and television and presents environmentally informed art documentaries for the BBC and was the subject for an award winning BBC documentary, ‘A Picture of Britain’.
He has an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) from Exeter University, an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University and an Honorary Fellow of Arts University Plymouth. He is an ambassador for Survival International and frequently works with Greenpeace, WaterAid, Oxfam and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. He is a patron of human rights charity Prisoners of Conscience. He is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy.
For over 30 years Kurt Jackson and his wife Caroline have lived and worked in the most-westerly town in Britain, St Just-in-Penwith where in 2015 they set up the Jackson Foundation Gallery. They have three grown children and seven young grandchildren.