Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Kurt Jackson: The Thames Revisited

A Dusting of Snow. Cliveden Reach. November 2010 © Kurt Jackson

A Dusting of Snow. Cliveden Reach. 
November 2010 © Kurt Jackson

I’m trying hard not to miss out on opportunities to see the work of artists that I admire, and a couple of weekends I had rather a treat going up to London to catch a couple of exhibitions that were on my ‘must see’ list. 

Four Mallard Four Mallard Tumbling Into the Source of the Thames at Dusk 2013 © Kurt Jackson

Four Mallard Tumbling Into the Source of the Thames at Dusk 
2013 © Kurt Jackson

It’s only in the last six month that I have found the work of Kurt Jackson, the highly talented and well respected landscape painter. Since then I have bought a couple of books of his work and become a big admirer of his paintings. His pictures bristle with life; whether they are of crashing seascapes or tranquil river views. This vitality comes from paint that is brushed, poured, flicked & scraped on surfaces ranging from small squares of paper to giant wall-sized canvasses. Jackson is neither a photo-realist nor a dauber, but his pictures accurately capture the gestalt of a place better than most can manage. His latest exhibition was Kurt Jackson: TheThames Revisited which was on display at the Redfern Gallery in Cork Street. The exhibition followed the river from source to sea, and includes a wide range of imagery that spans from rural idylls to motorway underpasses, impressive views of the capital and on out to the reaches of the estuary. The paintings were marvellous, every bit as exciting as I had hoped. It is wonderful the way in which his gestural, energetic mark making seems to result in believable details.

Thames Meander, Dry Nettles and Willows. February 2009 © Kurt Jackson

Thames Meander, Dry Nettles and Willows. 
February 2009 © Kurt Jackson

If I were working in London I would have found ways to go back and see the pictures again. Instead, the exhibition comes to me in the form of a really nice catalogue that I bought as the third book in my Jackson library. I just know that there will be more future purchases for that book shelf. 

Hawthorn and Willow. Oxford, Cherwell. Chiffchaff Calls. May 2010 © Kurt Jackson

Hawthorn and Willow. Oxford, Cherwell. Chiffchaff Calls. 
May 2010 © Kurt Jackson

Friday, 3 January 2014

News from Noel Myles

Cornwall © Noel Myles
Cornwall © Noel Myles

It was good to get an email the other day from my friend Noel Myles, letting me know that he had updated his website. The new website is unusual; instead of being presented with conventional gallery based sites you are immediately taken to an e-book that is an online portfolio of his work from 1986 to 2013. It's a nice take on the old concept of the photographer's 'book' and a compelling and rewarding way to look at his work. 

Back in the day, before we had websites, tweets, Facebook, blogs and Instagram, every serious photographer who was seriously looking for commissions had their 'book', a beautifully put together portfolio. Often leather bound and handmade, these books were exquisite, expensive collections of prints that were necessary to show one's work to best advantage.  

Noel's online book feels like a very modern take on the old concept. There is work on display that I have not seen before, and as ever, his work is fresh, unique and fascinating. In a world that is awash with dull, uncrafted conceptual art photography, Noel’s pictures are always interesting and rewarding. It is difficult to lose yourself in a photo in the same way as you do with a painting and we have become accustomed to viewing photos with fleeting glances, but Noel’s Still Films grab your attention and demand a longer look. Go have a look; you can even print a paper copy for yourself.