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A 40 Year Project

Kurt Jackson: River

Friday 9th Jun 2023 — Sunday 6th Aug 2023, The Base Gallery

A 40 Year Project

Leading British contemporary artist Kurt Jackson has spent well over forty years working on, next to and along many different watercourses; painting and drawing, following and observing these dynamic and enigmatic waterways.

This exhibition draws together works from a selection of his many different river projects, offering a glimpse of a variety of locations, each with their topographic and geophysical diversity. It also explores Jackson's varying approaches, in terms of medium and scale, as well as the changes and evolution of his technique over time.

As the ancient saying goes’ “no one can touch the same river twice”, the river changes and so do we.


Join charismatic author and naturalist Clive Chatters to explore River: A 40-Year Project. Clive will offer his thoughts on Kurt’s enigmatic work, the diversity of the many different waterways explored and the place of Greenham Common as a landscape of continuity and change.

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About Kurt Jackson

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 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.

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 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. Five 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) Kurt Jackson’s Sea (2021). 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 and is 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, Surfers Against Sewage, Friends of the Earth and The Wildlife Trusts. He is a patron of human rights charity Prisoners of Conscience. He is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy.

Kurt Jackson and his wife Caroline live and work in the most-westerly town in Britain, St Just-in-Penwith where in 2015 they set up the Jackson Foundation.

Open Wed - Sun, 10am - 5pm

Songs & Stories in the Gallery Thu 15 Jun & Sat 1 Jul

Relaxed Day Thu 13 Jul

Free Entry Weekend Sat 24 & Sun 25 Jun (pre-booking required)

Please note on Wed 26 July the gallery will be closing at 4pm

There is no need to print or collect a ticket as the team will have a record of those who have booked.