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24 September 2014

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Kurt Jackson - A Picture Of Cornwall
Kurt Jackson
Kurt working in his beloved Cornwall

Kurt Jackson is in love with the landscapes of Cornwall.

You can see Kurt Jackson's vision of Cornwall as part of the 'A Picture of Britain' series on Wednesday 8 June at 10.40pm on BBC One South West.


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Born in 1961, in Blandford, Dorset, Kurt Jackson was the son of two painters.

" His father's painting was an abstract studio painter, but would paint watercolour landscapes for recreation during family holidays - regularly taken on the Cornish coast.

" His parents were active in the peace movement and as a youngster Kurt was taken on many political demonstrations.

" Before reaching university age Jackson had travelled extensively throughout the world including the Amazon Rainforest and the Arctic Circle.

" Jackson graduated from St.Peters College, Oxford with an honours degree in zoology. He met his future wife here.

" Finding he was more interested in painting than zoology he preferred to spend his time at Oxford attending art classes at Ruskin College or painting in the countryside surrounding Oxford.

" For more than a year after graduating the couple trekked across Africa and roamed widely in Europe and later Latin America.

" In 1984 they settled in Boscastle and in 1989 they then moved to West Cornwall where they still live with their three children.

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As one of the South West's leading contemporary artists, Kurt Jacspends his time exploring and painting the rugged countryside and coastline of the Land's End Peninsula.

Kurt Jackson's highly individual landscapes are much prized in the art world, and can fetch up to £40,000 a canvas.

Kurt Jackson
Kurt at work in Cornwall

Kurt made Cornwall his home in 1984 after he'd graduated from University and travelled extensively around the world.

He studied Zoology, not art, but found that painting allowed him to better express his love of the natural world.

A new TV series 'A Picture of Britain' takes Kurt Jackson on a journey around Cornwall and explores how the landscapes of the area have inspired his work over the last 20 years.

On location

Some of Kurt Jackson's favourite subjects are the valleys, moorland and coast near to his West Cornwall home which he returns to repeatedly in his paintings.

Kurt Jackson
Working off the Cornish coast

Jackson prefers the outdoor life to that of being cocooned in a studio. He explores the South West carrying his paints, sketchbooks and canvases.

He has trekked St. Michaels Way, an ancient pilgrim route running from Lelant in St Ives bay to Marazion in Mounts Bay, resulting in a series of 172 drawings.

By painting outdoors and on location Kurt feels he can immerse himself in the landscape and weather.

Kurt tries to capture through his work his feelings and sense of awareness of the particular environment he is painting, rather than fleeting impressions.

To get a real sense of place, he regularly paints large canvases of 3 metres x 2 metres out on the cliff tops, weighted down by granite boulders.

When working back in his studio, Kurt will produce hundreds of sketches of the location he wants to paint.

Kurt Jackson
Kurt Jackson in front of one of his pieces of work

Kurt will also incorporate debris and found objects from the scene into his canvases - he feels that it helps him to capture the essence of the location.

He is also not afraid to write directly onto his canvases. Words and phrases that spring to his mind whilst painting find themselves incorporated into the piece.

Protecting the countryside

As Jackson is so immersed in the landscape, he is sensitive to the threats it faces. Kurt is a committed and active environmental campaigner, and often gives paintings to charities to help them raise funds to protect the landscape he so loves.

Jackson has been artist in residence at the Glastonbury Festival for the past seven years. The work he produces is auctioned off for environmental charities at the end of the festival.

You can see Kurt Jackson's vision of Cornwall as part of the 'A Picture of Britain' series on Wednesday 8 June at 10.40pm on BBC One South West.

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