Kurt Jackson - An artistic taste of Glastonbury

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One of Britain's leading painters and Glastonbury festival’s artist in residence is to exhibit at London’s Bargehouse gallery.

Kurt Jackson's exhibition will feature paintings and sketches of artists, bands and scenes from the festival - including paintings of Lily Allen, Radiohead, Massive Attack - and will be auctioned in aid of environmental group Greenpeace.

Jackson, has been described as ‘one of Britain's most compelling contemporary painters’, and has been Glastonbury’s artist-in-residence for many years, creating art from within the festival's crowds.

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"Fun and politics are a great mix – so… I go to Glastonbury Festival to work – I sketch and draw and paint and scribble above the crowds, in the crowds, under peoples feet, in their faces; I aim to immerse myself in the Glastonbury experience and come away with some kind of record on paper showing what I’ve seen, felt and experienced.” he explains.

The exhibition comes just before the 40th anniversaries of both the Glastonbury Festival and Greenpeace. The two have been intimately entwined throughout the years with Greenpeace running its own field since 1995.

"The great thing about Glastonbury is that it’s about fun and delight (and a bit of hedonism) but also engages with the serious issues of the future of the planet and our environment," says Jackson. "Forty years of Glastonbury – I’ve been at most of them, I've painted over a quarter of them. Greenpeace has also been there throughout my life and their fortieth is coming up. Glastonbury and Greenpeace have become entwined, woven together as an important strand of my working and political life."

“These paintings and sketches show festival royalty looking out across their massed ecstatic armies, veiled travellers from the Sahara cradling their guitars like electric scimitars, lost revellers fluttering around the lights of a doughnut stall and panoramic landscapes of the vast faerie city of mud and scaffolding, neon and wood smoke that swirls across the Vale of Avalon after summer solstice," says Kim Harrison, one of the exhibition’s organizers.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury says: "My daughter Juliet, who lives next door to Kurt, phoned me years ago to tell me of his amazing work. We were all immediately convinced of his artistic skills and he was appointed our "Artist in Residence". From then on all is now history as his terrific ability speaks for itself. His paintings hang all around the world, portraying the unique atmospheric colours and shades of perfection that our Festival creates."

The free exhibition opens in the Bargehouse on the 2nd of June to join the Heathrow Contest - an architectural competition to design the 'fortress' Greenpeace will use as part of an exhibition documenting the campaign against Heathrow’s proposed third runway.

Kurt Jackson's work will be auctioned online in aid of Greenpeace, and details can be found on the Greenpeace website, www.greenpeace.org.uk/kurtjackson

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