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.