‘In-Residence’ presents the first solo exhibition and open studio with artist and musician Kate Jackson. Taking the format of a short-term residency in the gallery, the exhibition brings together Jackson’s painting and printmaking with her established practice as a singer and song-writer.
Since studying Fine Art, Jackson has focussed her attention on painting, which connects her musical and artistic outputs. She continues to paint all of her single and album covers which she first pursued as the lead-singer of indie band The Long Blondes.
During her open studio in the gallery, Jackson will work towards new paintings for her Abstract Brutalism series as well as artwork towards her forthcoming solo album, to explore in more depth the sources of inspiration which intersect these disciplines. The exhibition and residency will culminate in the first public airing of ‘British Road Movies’ at an Album Listening Party.
No doubt driven by the peripatetic existence of spending long periods of time on tour, both her paintings and songs speak of ‘home’. The series Abstract Brutalism take urban landscapes and architectural forms as their primary concerns. Removed of context- a backdrop or people- a single building often becomes the subject of a painted portrait.
The paintings are traces of psychogeographical walks she regularly takes, motivated by a desire to understand our emotional connection and sense of belonging to our surrounding environment. Whilst Jackson favours openness in seeking these locations, she consistently works within precise parameters when painting, built upon a formalist approach and structure which create distilled images. The grid-like basis of each painting suggest a meditative approach, akin to her purpose of walking: the image giving permanence to an otherwise temporal event.
First inspired by Jackson’s time spent living in Sheffield, the series has developed to include a number of iconic buildings locally such as the Sugar Beet factory on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Indeed, it is edgelands, borders and often overlooked spaces which mediate the urban and rural landscape in Suffolk that affect the artist: ones which illicit a sense of longing or returning through ambiguity. The mundane or the otherwise ordinary is treated with a painterly precision, elevating Jackson’s subjects to that of almost landmarks. In 2009 Jackson began writing a new series of songs with guitarist and producer Bernard Butler. The sound that developed was driven by Butler’s distinctive guitar and production style and Jackson’s melodic top line delivery and incisive lyrical content. Since then the duo have been working together at sporadic intervals on the 10 songs that now make up Jackson’s first solo album ‘British Road Movies’.
This exhibition extends In-Residence as an artist-focussed initiative to create new opportunities for artists in the region, strengthen connections and facilitate artistic networks. Foregrounding new commissioning and experimental approaches, the residency programme aims to offer foundational exhibitions of singular artists’ work.