Sunday, January 18, 2009

Forest Gardens - Kurt Jackson

Messum's of Cork Street, London are currently holding Kurt Jackson's latest exhibition. Titled 'Forest Gardens' it reflects his long held view that man can be an active participant in natural ecosystems rather than merely an external manipulator.
I am, as always, drawn primarily to Kurt's seascapes, 'No appletrees on Appletree Bay then' Tresco, September 2008, 57 x 62cm, mixed media (above) is no exception. This is the Scillies that I love, the rocky foreshore rather than the picture postcard white sands and the low mounds of islands that can be so hard to distinguish from the sea, especially when the sun is on it. There are not many seascapes in this exhibition as it focuses primarily on orchard ecosystems including almonds, olives, cork oak and Cornish apples.

The series of paintings from around the Mediterranean are redolent of the heat, sounds and smell of summertime. 'Warbler twitter, almond scent', painted in Andalusia in spring 07, is a small (21 x 21cm) mixed media piece that screams the hope and vitality of the new season. Not the sort of thing that I am usually drawn to but this is just so full of joy.
There are a number of sculptures in the exhibition I was particularly taken with the ones featuring bronze 'fruits' set on a piece of wood of the relevant tree. Mountain Almonds could definitely have found a home with me.
As usual most of the works had red dots from the private view, even with the recession on, I did hear that they had sold five works that morning so some people still rate art as a good investment.

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