ref: j_v Mar 31-Jun 7 2007 VICTORIA ART GALLERY Kurt Jackson: River Avon Part I, from source to Bath - return to Galleries PR Index

Kurt Jackson, River Avon Part 1: from source to Bath

An evocative new exhibition by one of Britain’s most exciting landscape artists is to get its world premiere at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery. The show will be opened by Tim Smith, co-founder and Chief Executive of the Eden Project at 6.30 pm on Friday 30 March. Preceding the opening, from 5.30 to 6.00, will be a gallery talk by Kurt Jackson about the project.
For this exhibition, which runs from Saturday, 31 March to Thursday, 7 June, at the gallery, Cornish-based artist Kurt Jackson has created a series of paintings encapsulating the atmosphere and feel of the River Avon, from its source at Didmartin as far as the bridges and weirs of Bath.
Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “Most of the pictures were created out-of-doors during 2005 and 2006. Locations visited along this fluvial route include the well known, such as Avoncliff, the Dundas Aquaduct, Batheaston, Bathford and of course Bath itself, as well as those less visited secret stretches. Kurt Jackson is one of this country’s leading contemporary artists. The paintings show his direct connection with nature, and the series is a fantastic visual document of the river.” The 53 paintings range in size from a few inches across to over 10 feet wide. A further series is expected to be completed by 2009, showing the rest of the Avon’s journey from Bath to the sea. William Packer, art critic and painter, noted: "We too tread his project-trail along the bank, by the sketch-books he fills and the paintings he has made, sit with him in the sun, listen with him to the birds that he makes note of on his margins, to the rustle in the grass, and the gentle rushing of the water." Entrance for the stunning exhibition is free of charge, and the proceeds of the sale of one of the paintings will be donated to the charity, Water Aid. In the artist’s own words: “When I was a kid I used to spend weekends with my grandparents on the Somerset/ Wiltshire border. One of the highlights of these trips was early on the Sunday morning before the rest of the family were awake, my father and I would creep out of the house to walk across the misty, dew covered fields towards Bradford-on- Avon. This is my first memory of this fine English river. He added: “Over the last few years I’ve completed several projects about rivers – in this country and on the continent. To follow a river from its source as it grows and changes, erodes and meanders, evolving itself and the land; this is not just a journey, getting to know the river itself, but is also about discovering and understanding the host countryside - the history, people, culture, wildlife. The river becomes a metaphor for life itself.” This is the second time that Kurt Jackson has shown work at the Victoria Art Gallery. His previous exhibition Two Woods, held in summer 2004, proved hugely popular, attracting 14,700 visitors. Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I am delighted that we are able to show these beautiful scenes locally, the paintings offer a stunning view of the changing face of the river as it passes through our district. I hope people will enjoy seeing their local landmarks portrayed so beautifully.” All the paintings will be for sale, and full details about the exhibition are available on the Gallery’s website at or by calling 01225 477233. The Victoria Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1.30-5pm. The Gallery is closed on Monday and admission is free. ENDS Notes for editors Photo, feature and filming opportunities are available. Please contact; Jenny Clarke, Media and Communications Officer, to make arrangements, on 01225 477827 or email

  • Born in 1961, Kurt Jackson has always had a fascination with nature and studied zoology at St Peter’s College in Oxford during which time he attended art courses at the Ruskin College of Art.In 1984 he moved to Penwith in Cornwall and has used the local coastal landscape as a key motif in much of his work.During the past 25 years he has exhibited extensively and has had numerous solo shows.

For further information and/or images please contact; Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath on 01225 477232;

For further comment, please contact; Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, on 01225 477496 or email

Issued by Bath & North East Somerset Council press office, tel 01225 477827 or 477283.