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Printmaker Grace Beswick interns with artist Kurt Jackson

Grace reports on her internship, what she learned about how Kurt combines his love of the natural world with his creative practice, and how the experience has inspired her to embark on her creative journey after graduation.
<p dir="ltr">Final-year BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing &amp; Printmaking student <a href="https://www.instagram.com/gracebeswickart" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Grace Beswick</a> recently returned from an internship with contemporary artist and dedicated environmentalist <a href="https://www.kurtjackson.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Kurt Jackson</a> and the <a href="https://www.jacksonfoundationgallery.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Jackson Foundation</a> in Penzance, Cornwall.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kurt Jackson was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Arts University Plymouth in 2023 and in 2022 his sculpture ‘The Plym Stone’, was unveiled in the leading arts university’s campus, inspired by the geology of the immediate Plymouth area, featuring locally sourced limestone, granite and reclaimed glass. </p> <p dir="ltr">Grace reports on her internship, what she learned about how Kurt combines his love of the natural world with his creative practice, and how the experience has inspired her to embark on her creative journey after graduation.<br /></p>

<p dir="ltr">My visit to meet Kurt Jackson at his studio in Penzance was his first collaboration with Arts University Plymouth following being awarded an Honorary Fellowship. He introduced me to his work, showed me around his studio, and I met the team who run the Jackson Foundation. It was an insightful day that left me feeling inspired to work as a creative post-graduation. <br /></p>
Kurtand Grace

Myself and Kurt Jackson in front of his painting ‘Dozmary Grasshopper and Skylark Song’

<p dir="ltr">I moved from Staffordshire to study Painting, Drawing &amp; Printmaking at Arts University Plymouth. The course allows me to move ideas between drawings, paintings and prints, and the facilities in the print room make it possible to produce high-quality prints and work to a large scale. </p> <p dir="ltr">I am interested in the process of making and how this can be used as a means of research. My work is autobiographical, it observes the people, places and things around me. I respond to and work from my photography and experiment with digital software to inform traditionally produced outcomes. My work moves between levels of abstraction and figuration to challenge ways to represent the original photograph and to explore alternative outcomes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Over the past three years, I have displayed my work in group exhibitions throughout Plymouth, many of which I organised with peers to build curatorial experience. Through both placement and voluntary work, I have gained experience and knowledge in managing a print studio, gallery, events, and an artist foundation, as well as delivering workshops, and organising, curating and hosting exhibitions.<br /></p>
Meet you out at Smokers Cropped

Grace Beswick, ‘Back from the Vintage Store’, 2023 & Grace Beswick, ‘Meet You out at Smokers’, 2023

<p dir="ltr">Jackson combines his respect for the natural world with his interest in painting, drawing, printmaking, poetry and sculpture. Speaking to him gave me a great insight into his practice and his current exhibition at the Foundation’s gallery, ‘The Fowey’.<br /></p>
Short Film

Painting, short film & sketchbooks

<p dir="ltr">He discussed his process of working, which begins in situ, sketching with mediums such as pencils, oil pastels and ink, and painting with acrylic on canvas, in locations of interest, as a form of documentation. He returns to his studio to continue his work, which is informed by the content and mark-making within his drawings. </p> <p dir="ltr">Jackson works in solitary to completely focus on his surroundings and to absorb the elements. He translates his interest and these first-hand experiences into his artwork, with the intent to inform the viewer of the location. </p> <p dir="ltr">After talking with Jackson in the gallery, we visited his studios to see some works in progress. Seeing the collection of objects that surround him as he works, and stepping back out of the studios to experience the location that Jackson is experiencing every day, provided a very clear connection between his interests and inspirations and the works that he is producing. <br /></p>

Jackson's main studio

<p dir="ltr">Writing is important in Jackson’s practice. Thoughts are scored into his paintings to add further context to his work. He wants the viewer to understand his relation to the location which he studies in his work and the content within the painting. Poetry is a new addition to his exhibitions. Jackson explained that although he has written poetry since being a teenager, he has only felt comfortable in the last 10 to 15 years, to share his writing. He now shows his poetry in publications and exhibitions, where they are presented as laser engravings on wood with ink mark-making, and hung alongside his work.<br /></p>

Screen Print, Poetry Engraved on Wood with Ink & Text Detail on Painting

<p dir="ltr">As my main interest is in print, I had the opportunity to view a collection of Jackson’s prints, including small etchings and larger screen prints, which are not currently on show in the gallery. <br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">Meeting the team who run and work at the Foundation provided a great insight into what makes it a success, from the challenges and excitement involved in opening and running the gallery, to how they prepare, curate, hang and promote the next exhibition. </p> <p dir="ltr">Zinzi Tucker, Jackson’s daughter, runs the Foundation with her husband, Fynn. As I am interested in curating or working within a gallery, this was a great opportunity to learn. Zinzi went through some of her day-to-day tasks and explained what goes into organising and curating each exhibition and the responsibility around selling and tracking works.<br /></p>
Jackson Foundation
Art Gallery

The Jackson Foundation & Art Gallery

<p dir="ltr">The visit gave me insight into working as a professional artist as well as running a gallery. I am excited to see what else will come from the collaboration between Jackson and Arts University Plymouth. The experience I have gained through taking on opportunities such as this has been invaluable towards my development alongside my studies. <br /></p>
Street Art Barcelona Cropped
Blossom Lino Cropped
Laser Woodcut Print
CMYK Blossom Cropped

Grace Beswick, ‘Street Artist in Barcelona’, 2023; Grace Beswick, ‘Untitled (Blossom 1/3)’, 2023/2024; Grace Beswick, ‘Untitled (Blossom 2/3)’, 2023; Grace Beswick, ‘Untitled (Blossom 3/3)’, 2023

<p dir="ltr">You can keep up-to-date with my practice and involvement in exhibitions by following me on <a href="https://www.instagram.com/gracebeswickart" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Instagram</a>. Feel free to get in touch to inquire about commissions, to buy a piece of art, or to ask me any questions about my practice and work.<br /></p>