Artist Kurt Jackson celebrates the RNLI in Cornwall in new exhibition
The RNLI is honoured to feature in a major new exhibition of work by Cornwall based contemporary artist Kurt Jackson. The free exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday 18 March at the Jackson Foundation Gallery in St Just, documents the important role of the RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards in
Cornwall, supporting their vital work within the coastal community, and will run through to August 2023.
Kurt Jackson, one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, has lived in Cornwall with his wife Caroline for the last 40 years, with his large-scale paintings capturing the raw and natural beauty of the Cornish landscape. The multi-award winning Jackson Foundation Gallery is an exciting gallery space created by Kurt and Caroline based in the centre of St Just.
Kurt’s latest exhibition, RNLI Cornwall features over 75 paintings varying in scale from postcard sided pieces to large canvasses measured in metres that capture the familiar sight of the blue and orange of the charity’s lifeboats nestled into Cornish harbours and coastlines, and lifeguards at the centre of Cornish beaches scenes. A selection of the paintings is of the old Penlee lifeboat station which Kurt has captured as it was left after the disaster in 1981, a poignant reminder of the sacrifice made.
One of the paintings titled Sennen flowing tide has been donated by Kurt Jackson to fundraise in aid of the RNLI. For the duration of the RNLI Cornwall’s exhibition period, the Jackson Foundation will hold a prize draw to win Sennen flowing tide, with each ticket purchased equalling one entry and the winner randomly selected at the exhibition’s conclusion.
100% of the proceeds will be donated to support the RNLI. Tickets and information are available from the Jackson Foundation website www.jacksonfoundationgallery.com/RNLI-draw
With the lifesaving charity set to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2024, the Jackson Foundation has also gifted the RNLI space in its upper gallery to explore the work of the RNLI in Cornwall as seen through the lens of the camera over the last two centuries. The photographs, include work from Jack Lowe’s ongoing project to photograph the UKs lifeboat crew with technology from the 1860’s and Nigel Millard’s stunning shots of lifeboats in action.
Kurt describes his inspiration to celebrate the role of the RNLI within his paintings;
‘I know by being alongside, in the shallows. On the surface, on the coast path of sat watching while I paint, making my marks, there is always the potential for mishap. I try not to take this place for granted but I know if something goes wrong (when distracted, in the depths of painting, a little slip, a loose rock, the unexpected wave…) the lifeguards and lifeboat crews are there. Equally, it’s reassuring to know that my family, friends and the wider community are also being watched over.
And so, I want to thank the RNLI. This project is an acknowledgement of their dedication, their hard work, their sacrifice, and their care.’
Dave Nicoll, RNLI Fundraising and Partnerships lead says the charity is honoured feature in Kurt’s art, he says;
‘Kurt’s beautiful artwork is well known and recognised across the world, and especially so in Cornwall so be the focus of his new exhibition is incredible for the charity and something we’re honoured to be a part of.
Kurt has really captured how much a part of the Cornish landscape our RNLI lifeboats and stations have become over the last nearly 200 years and within the last 20, the familiar red and yellow of the lifeguard’s flags on the county’s beaches. We are especially grateful for his generous donation of the painting Sennen Flowing tide to raise vital funds for the charity. The money raised through the prize draw will help train and equip our Cornish lifesavers to be able to continue to save lives at sea.’
Notes to editors
- The Jackson Foundation are hosting a private viewing for special guests and members of the media on Friday 17 March when Kurt will be available for interview, alongside Dave Nicoll from the RNLI. To arrange a viewing please contract Amy on the email or number below:
- Please find attached the programme with images of the paintings and some detail behind Kurt’s inspiration
RNLI media contacts
For media enquiries please contact Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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