Vanessa Jackson, on first reading, appears to take the most formal approach to painting, but her use of geometry and its three dimensional function deny the supposed flatness of modernist space. Jackson’s work explores the contradiction of a fully realised space at once pertaining to logic and completeness and to uncertainty and unease. The ornamental and optical play of colour acts to both confirm and confuse our sense of perception, constantly shifting between concrete presence and the ambiguity of space beyond our grasp. Jackson destabilises the very ‘ground’ we most desire, a sense of security and belonging.
“I work within the known discipline of geometry, where there is no need for invention, no overt self-expression, but a compulsion to make tangible a sense of colour as light. The ambiguity of thinly painted space, contrasting with the opaque carved form of geometry, is to re-enforce the sense of actual existence whereby the optical and illusionistic processes allude to both perpetual motion and concrete actuality. I look to form the gestalt between the phenomena that are visually and physically experienced and that which is intellectually understood. The ornamental is sustained by structure, and in this sensate space that is painting, it may provide a symbolic articulation.” VJ
Vanessa Jackson was born in 1953 and studied at St Martins School of Art 1971-75, and at the Royal College of Art 1975-78. She was President of the New Contemporaries in 1975 and since her first one person show at the Air Gallery, London in 1981 she has exhibited widely in Britain and abroad, including the New Contemporaries, the John Moores and more recently one-person shows at Art Inc, New York (2003), Keith Talent Gallery, London (2005), Studio 1.1 (2005/2012),Poussin Gallery (2006), and at Sadler's Wells Theatre with a 10 metre wall painting commissioned in 2008. Recent Group Shows have been Warped and the Feminine, Angel Row, Nottingham and touring, and participation in shows from Botswana to Bergen, New York to Tokyo. She was Head of Painting at Winchester School of Art 1988-97, and MA and Research Tutor at the Royal College of Art 1993-2007. She is currently Senior Tutor at The Royal Academy Schools.
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