‘Lies, the telling of beautiful, untrue things, is the true meaning of Art’
– Oscar Wilde
Robert Jackson is an Irish artist who lives and works in Scotland. He was born in Dublin and while growing up moved between Dublin, London, Bristol and Waterford. Ending up living and staying in Waterford during his teens was very important to his development as an artist. The Waterford local art scene and his inspirational teachers, tutors and friends there; including Roger Garbett and Anne O’Regan helped to foster his interests in Art and develop his art practice.
Robert went on to study Fine Art Printmaking at the NCAD and received his MFA from DJCAD, Dundee. During his studies, his primary art practice has involved painting, printmaking and more recently has moved into the realms of emerging digital technologies including CNC milling, 3D scanning and 3D printing. He is a prolific artist and paints daily in his studio in Fife, Scotland. Robert’s work is inspired by the people he’s met and the places he’s visited.
I mainly paint, draw and use printmaking within my art practice. I am continuously excited by the limitless possibilities of image making that these mediums can provide.
Figuration is central within my art. I have always enjoyed drawing the human figure and in particular the face and head. The head studies I make are sometimes based on reality, or sometimes involve what I call ‘Headfaces’, which are non-descript, imaginative hints of the human form. These Headfaces are important within my practice to compliment or oppose the exact and detailed portrait works and they are a reminder top me to always allow memory and chance a place within my practice.
Above: Robert Jackson in studio
Above: ‘Glow 15’
Oil and drypoint on brass, Robert Jackson, 2022
I aim to work with a duality of the real and imaginary with my larger landscape or fabric paintings in that they are often based upon very realistic origins, but these central elements are often interrupted by distorted images or encroaching memories. These canvases become a record of not just one scene but of important thoughts and experiences that overlay these places. Distorted elements of figuration creep in or vibrantly overlay the main original images and begin to link themes including spiritualism, faith, place, dreams and belonging. These paintings and drawings seek to echo my thoughts within my surroundings, sometimes exhibiting a quiet stillness or breaking into jarring, colourful, chaotic surfaces.
I see my paintings as fragmented memories of people and place. The core shapes within these paintings can suggest wrapped figures or organic shapes, although these are often distorted and unclear. Occasionally, the shapes and forms within my paintings and sculptures seek to hint at vessels, containers or cocoons. They can reference textiles depicting wrapped human forms within old master paintings, overlaid or concealed by patterns or broken shapes of abstracted landscapes.
By producing paintings like the ‘Headfaces’ or the tiny ‘Glow’ series landscape paintings I avoid restricting myself to one main method of working as this would feel untrue and constricted.
Above: An inside view to Robert’s painting studio.
Above: Glow Process Video
Robert Jackson, 2022
2006-present: Based in Dundee + Fife, Scotland
2005-2006: MFA, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Scotland, UK.
2001-2005: BA (Hons), Fine Art Printmaking, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland.
2000-2001: National Vocational Certificate, Art, Craft and Design, Central Technical Institute, Waterford, Ireland.
2011: ‘Aquarell Happening’, Tux, Austria. Invited artist for annual residency set up in the Tux valley in Austria by Christian Stock, Olivia Gürtler, Christoph Grubauer and Vanja Krajnc.
- 2021: 123rd Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) Annual Exhibition. The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), The Mound, Edinburgh
- 2021: The Scottish National Portrait Awards, ‘Long List’, showing online 15th December 2021 to February 2022.
- 2021: Self Portrait Prize 2021, Ruth Borchard Collection Long-list online exhibition of highly commended works, https://ruthborchard.org.uk/viewing-room/16-the-self-portrait-prize-2021-exhibition-of-long-listed-works/
- 2021:‘Equinox’, Nua Collective online exhibition, https://nuacollective.ie/premiere-exhibition/ collective exhibition based on the theme of the Spring Equinox
- 2021: Teeside Print Prize, Palace Hub Gallery, Redcar and Cleveland. Exhibition also shown at Hillstreet in Middlesbrough, UK.
- 2020: ‘Premiere Exhibition’, Nua Collective online exhibition.
- 2020: The Scottish National Portrait Awards, ‘Long List’, showing online 15th December 2020 to 15th January 2021.
- 2015: Silk Road, Dundee Print Collective Exhibition, 21 – 25 September 2015, Hangzhou, China and 12 – 20 December 2015, WASPS, Meadow Mill, Dundee, UK.
- 2014: Impressions, National Juried Printmaking Exhibition, Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, United States.
- 2011: 181st Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2011: Aquarelle Happening, Mehlerhaus, Tux, Austria.
- 2011: Kinblethmont Gallery, Arbroath, Scotland.
- 2010: The Meffan, Winter Exhibition, Forfar, Scotland.‘Commended’ prize.
- 2010: Winter Print Exhibition, Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Gallery.
- 2010: The Aspect Art Prize 2010, Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Paisley, Scotland, UK.
- 2010: The 180th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland. Exhibiting “The Anatomy Lesson of the Irish College of Surgeons”, oil on canvas, 1.9 metres by 4 metres.
- 2009: The Meffan, Winter Exhibition, Forfar, Scotland.
- 2009: Christmas Print Exhibition Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Gallery.
- 2009: Group exhibition, Kinblethmont Gallery, Arbroath, Scotland.
- 2009: Ardbia, Galway, Ireland.
- 2008: The Scottish National Art Competition 2008, Kinblethmont Gallery, Scotland.
- 2008: Winter Print Exhibition Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Gallery.
- 2008: The Edinburgh Gallery Summer Exhibition, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- 2008: ‘The Space Between’, solo exhibition The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
- 2007: The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London, representing the Edinburgh Gallery.
- 2007: ‘The Shape of Things to Come’, Imagine Arts Festival, Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford.
- 2007: The Edinburgh Gallery Summer Exhibition, Edinburgh.
- 2006: The Angus College National Art Competition, Abroath Art Gallery, Arbroath.
- 2006: The Edinburgh Gallery Christmas Exhibition, Edinburgh.
- 2006: Solo Exhibition, Ardbia, Galway.
- 2006: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, MFA Degree Exhibition, Top Floor Kangaroo Self Storage, Dundee.
- 2006: The Edinburgh Gallery Summer Exhibition, Edinburgh.
- 2006: The Royal Scottish Academy Student Exhibition, Edinburgh.
- 2005: ‘Divergence’ Group Exhibition, The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Waterford, Ireland.
- 2005: ‘Past/Present’, Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford, Ireland.
- 2005: ‘Prolific’, Ardbia Art Gallery, Galway, Ireland
- 2005: National College of Art and Design Degree Show, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2005: The Royal Dublin Society Student Art Awards, RDS, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2005: Royal Hibernian Academy, 175th Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2004: ‘Gina’, Exhibition with Brendan Flaherty, The Granary, Waterford, Ireland.
- 2004: Royal Hibernian Academy, 174th Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2004: ‘In Between’, Print Exhibition, The Cross Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2003: ‘6@22aCubed’, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, Ireland.
- 1998: ‘Newtown Connections’, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, Ireland.
- 2020: Venture Award, Co-founder of Mask3D. Investigating 3D printed radiotherapy masks as an accurate alternative to traditional methods.
- 2012: Creative Scotland Award to investigate Eye-Tracking as a drawing tool for Artists with disabilities.
- 2011: Dundee Visual Artists Award. To investigate the combination of laser cutting and limestone lithography within my printmaking practice.
- 2010: Commended, The Meffan Winter Exhibition, Forfar, Scotland.
2006: Highly Commended, Angus College National Art Competition.
- The Anatomy Department, The Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland.
- Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford, Ireland.
- Work in private collections in the UK and Ireland.
- 2010: Edition of 200 prints, based on drawings I made in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to celebrate their 200 year anniversary on St. Stephen’s Green.
- 2010: Completed “The Anatomy Lesson of the Irish College of Surgeons”. This was a 1.9 x 4 metre painting commission for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.