2010 by Emily Jackson
Graduating from Wimbledon College of Art in 2010, Jackson’s work is predominantly concerned with figures – people in everyday life, but more often than not the fleshy nature of skin and the shapes of the body itself. Her graduate show pieces were awesome canvases of twisted and entwined bodies, the curves and contours of flesh emphasised. Her paint has an incredibly high sheen, glorifying the pinks and purples that make up this explorative homage to skin. Yet unlike many artists, who sculpt their fleshy bodies by building up paint thickly, layering with texture and colour, Jackson’s approach is lightly subtle. She sketches with paint, allowing long brush strokes and bands of colour to effortlessly give depth and a life-like warmth to her figures’ limbs. Space is left within the image as the background shows through – colour dances, moving to the shape of its subject on the surface of the canvas, making these figures appear very much alive. The tumbling figure in Kayfabe is poised on the edge of movement itself; pleasing three-dimensional, one feels it could almost roll out of the canvas. It is interesting that Jackson paints in such a free-handed way, as one might draw, as her drawings themselves are incredibly graphic, hyper-real almost, with crisp outlines and dark blocks of shadow. Jackson’s paintings seem almost more faithful to the method of drawing, creating and investigating in every line with an air of freehanded curiosity. Jackson says herself that her painting aims to show a voyeuristic approach to portraiture and perhaps this is how this explorative frankness crept into the creation of her painting.