Cornwall LivingIssue #76
Inspired by the Isles
Kurt Jackson unveils an exhibition of work that’s as unique and windswept as the Isles of Scilly themselves.
Travel as far south west as the land will take you – beyond Land’s End and into the sea – and eventually you’ll reach the Isles of Scilly, the subject of Kurt Jackson’s latest stunning exhibition.
“The Scillies are ancient islands, steeped in mythology, where the sun seems stronger and the sky clearer”
Displayed in the breathtaking gallery of the award-winning Jackson Foundation in St Just, ‘Scilly’ is comprised of works created in the rain, shine and everything in between over the past five years, exploring not just the coastline, with its bright white sands and aquamarine seas, but also the land itself. From the tufty hillocks where Mediterranean insects and flora coexist with the native species, to tumbledown cottages and flower-filled fields; Kurt Jackson peers into the unique habitats that make the Isles of Scilly such a rich and remarkable place.
Kurt tells us: “The Scillies are ancient islands, steeped in mythology, where the sun seems stronger and the sky clearer. Some say they are Lyonesse – the lost land in the legend of King Arthur. Today, high tottering dry-stone perforated walls jut out of the landscape, hairy with lichen, and look as old as the ocean itself.”
This arcane archipelago has been part of Kurt’s life for over 30 years, and he often visits to lay down his canvases on the wind buffeted shores in an attempt to capture their unique beauty. Perched in the open ocean and battered by the elements, the islands remain a pristine refuge from the relentless pace of modern life. However, although the winters are mild and summers bright, they are not always a forgiving place to work. The sand invariably blows onto the canvas, the wind dries the paint too quickly, and the rain washes it away. But the resulting paintings showcase the quiet wildness of these little islands at the end of the world, from the perspective of one of Cornwall’s most evocative artists.
To see Kurt’s stunning work that’s inspired by island life, be sure to pay a visit to The Jackson Foundation gallery in St Just between 1st September and 28th October, and then from 21st December 2018 until 5th January 2019.
"The Scillies are ancient islands, steeped in mythology, where the sun seems stronger and the sky clearer"