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Kurt Jackson at Frenchman's Creek

Updated: May 23, 2023

A few weeks ago we ventured up the Helford River on our paddle boards. It was the height of the summer holidays and there was a lot of traffic on the river but as we made our way into Frenchman's Creek there was a perceptible change of atmosphere. The further we went, the more pronounced the feeling of stillness and separateness became. Mossy trees covered the steep banks all the way to the water's edge. Some had fallen and their twisted old limbs were half-submerged. Occasionally a bird darted past and then vanished into the deep green woods. This is an ancient and beguiling landscape, and Kurt Jackson captures it perfectly in his latest exhibition - not just the physicality of it but the sense of place.

Kurt is one of our leading landscape artists as well as a passionate environmentalist and has worked with organisations including Greenpeace, Surfer's Against Sewage and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. His sensitivity to the landscape and the natural world seeps into and informs his work.

He worked on the Frenchman's Creek project over a period of several years, painting its unique environment throughout the seasons. Some of his works depict lush, almost tropical greenery while others have the gentle yellow glow of weak winter sunlight.

"This is a fragile place, a delicate and ancient piece of land and water - a beautiful place to linger, watch and witness,' he says in the Foreword to the exhibition catalogue.

"The slow tides, the seasonal shifts in dress, the day and night, all is worthy of capture and celebration on my boards and paper and canvas, on the page on my lap and back in the studio."

The exhibition is currently showing at The Jackson Foundation Gallery - a former industrial warehouse in St Just. The space downstairs is dedicated to Kurt's paintings and sculptures while the smaller upstairs gallery is hosting a display about the ecology of Frenchman's Creek and the Helford Estuary.

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