Our existence depends on biodiversity; the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink all depend on it…
With a series of paintings, sculptures and mixed media works this exhibition will aim to show what an amazingly biodiverse world we still live in and how this is changing. All these life forms have the same entitlement to live as we do and fundamentally they are all individually fascinating, extraordinary and beautiful organisms in their own right. By being aware of the life we share this planet with we can appreciate it and then conserve it.
Solo Touring Exhibition
May 27th – October 29th 2022.
Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, SO14 7LP.
Mermaids’ Tears charts Kurt Jackson’s campaigning work to address the blight of plastic in the ocean, and draws attention to the resin pellets or nurdles from plastic manufacturing (colloquially known as mermaids’ tears) that pollute the environment.
The Dovecot Commission interprets ‘Mermaid’s Tears’, a painting made by Jackson in 2016 for the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage. The plastic pieces embedded in the original painting have enabled Dovecot to experiment using plastic, debris and string fibres collected by Jackson and which point to the devastating effects of plastic pollution in our seas. Dovecot’s constructed textile specialist Louise Trotter has worked with Kurt Jackson to achieve a sensitive balance of colour and texture. The contrast between the fishing rope and wool (the traditional and sustainable fibre used in rug making) powerfully illustrates the incursion of plastics into the natural environment.
The collaboration between the Jackson and Dovecot was previously shown in Edinburgh at the same time as COP 26, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow in 2021.
For this project, Jackson worked in situ at Littlejohn’s china clay works, observing the workers in the pit as they extracted and transported the china clay in an extraordinary manmade landscape. The dramatic (and sometimes extreme) variations in the weather inspired a diverse range of drawings and paintings, perched on the edge of the pit or down in the depths – including the clay and stone itself in the mix.
“Surely there is no square mile of earth’s inhabitable surface that is not beautiful in its own way, if we men will only abstain from wilfully destroying that beauty.” – William Morris
The ground beneath our feet has never felt less solid than it does at the moment – yet our awareness of it has never been more acute. As the evidence mounts up revealing how much we have destroyed the earth – painting, poetry, drawing and sculpture can offer some sort of marker in time – visual metaphors for our Grand Awakening.
This mixed show considers how our relationship with the environment is now at the forefront of our thinking towards solutions.
May 7th – June 5th 2022.
Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, SP3 6LW.
At the centre of a programme devoted to rethinking our relationship with the environment is Messums’ 13th century tithe barn. The largest in the country, the barn gallery becomes a turbine hall for the imagination this summer starting with Tideline, a group exhibition running from 14 May – 3 July 2022.
The artists selected engage and expand our understanding of this extraordinary ecosystem and bellwether to change. Their work sets out not just to alert and inform, but to key into our empathy with the underwater environment, to sow the seeds of our imagination and drum up our own sense of agency for change. They remind us of human ingenuity’s boundless desire for discovery, and radiate with a light of possibility, inviting us to problem-solve and think the unthinkable.
May 14th – July 3rd 2022.
Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, SP3 6LW.