Kate Jackson is an artist, singer and song-writer best known as the lead singer in Sheffield art rock band The Long Blondes.
Since studying fine art in Sheffield, Jackson has focussed her attention on painting, developing a style which mimics that of screen printing by building up colour layers with the use of acrylic paint and taped stencils to produce bright, graphic images. Her work is primarily concerned with urban landscapes and architectural forms, the most recent series of paintings, ‘Abstract Brutalism’, being inspired by post-war Brutalist architecture. Removed of context, a backdrop or people, a single building often becomes the subject of a painted portrait. Structures and shapes in the landscape made by the concrete forms and shadows of these buildings inspire paintings which seem at first glance to be patterns rather than representations.
Now based back in her home town of Bury St Edmunds, Jackson’s work often stems from long topographical walks encompassing both the urban and rural landscapes of Suffolk. It is the edgelands, borders and often overlooked spaces which affect the artist the most. As she walks she leaves her trace or re-traces the mark left by an earlier self or by others. Overlooked landmarks, such as the Sugar Beet Factory in Bury St Edmunds, are elevated to iconic status, evoking a sense of longing or returning through ambiguity. The mundane or the otherwise ordinary is treated with a painterly precision, becoming other worldly.
In 2009 Jackson began working on a series of songs with ex-Suede guitarist and producer Bernard Butler. The resulting body of work now forms Jackson’s debut solo album ‘British Road Movies’. Many of the album’s lyrical themes extend into Jacksons artistic output too; themes of home and belonging, transience and trace, leaving and returning, escape and preservation. The songs have led to a new series of paintings also entitled ‘British Road Movies’ which elevate the every day experience of travelling on our motorways, A roads and B roads, to iconic status, akin to that given to American highways such as Route 66.
Jackson continues to perform live with her band The Wrong Moves, Djs regularly and is co-founder of fund raising DJ event The Hoo Ha Record Club, raising money for Suffolk Mind.