Interview with Antonia Jackson

About the artist

Originally from Alsace (France), Antonia Jackson has lived in London for the past 20 years. Passionate about art since childhood, she has recently graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts (BA Fine Art/Painting 2014) and previously completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2010, both part of University of the Arts London (UAL). She now works from a studio in London and has extensively exhibited in the UK since then.

Where do you find your inspiration? What is your art about?

Interested in memory and the cinematic, I find inspiration in images drawn from 1960s New Wave French and Italian art films (a form of collective archive), super 8 reels from personal archives, and found or personal photographs. Such mediated images provide a space for the recovery of memories mainly through the medium of painting.

My current body of work stems from recently rediscovered 8 mm home movies shot by my father in 70s and 80s: some of them reference family life while others were shot around the world during his business travels and epitomise a world at the onset of globalisation and before mass tourism. Carefully selected film stills from those home movies are appropriated and redefined during the painting process, which allows a distant past to be brought back into the present and new narratives to emerge. They are often painted on the same format to replicate the sequencing of film and due to the very nature of their degraded source, they hover between abstraction and figuration: at times the brushwork is more defined and at others more looseand free. Painted on board with thin layers of paint often laid over a carefully chosen ground, they aim to reflect the fragility and transience of memory. My use of colour, influenced by French Post Impressionism and early German Expressionism (Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter) is also essential to create a dreamlike surreal atmosphere in the paintings inviting the viewer into a strange poetic world, half imagined, half remembered.

Ski Resort (French Alps 1974), 2014, Oil on Wood, 50×60 cm

Which artists do you admire?

From the modern era, I admire the French post impressionist Nabis painters and in particular, Vuillard, Bonnard and Vallotton. I also admire Gabriella Münter, Kandinsky and Edward Munch. From contemporary painters, I admire Peter Doig, Mamma Anderson, Wilhelm Sasnal, Michael Armitage, Chris Offili among many others.

Reading Room (Sweden 1976), 2015, Oil on Wood, 51×61 cm

When you work on a new project, which steps do you take?

First of all, I need to identify the images I will be working from. This requires screening the film and taking screen shots and then editing them carefully. Then I make a lot of oil studies on paper from those images to decide which ones I will carry forward into a painting and which colour scheme I will use. Then I start the final painting.

Mysterious Porch (Sweden 1976), 2015, Oil on Wood, 50×60 cm

What are the highlights of your artistic career?

One of the highlights of my artistic career was curating and exhibiting in The Landscape of Time exhibition at the Crypt, St Marylebone church at the beginning of 2018. Then,this summer I had the great opportunity to exhibit on the Island of Groix, in Brittany (France) in an 18 th century military fort alongside other established and emerging French artists during the Festival du Film Insulaire, a yearly
documentary film festival dedicated to island life . Finally, my degree show at Wimbledon College of Art back in 2014 was very well attended and half the 8 paintings on show were sold.

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