Vanessa Jackson is a painter and installation wall painter, whose use of geometry and its three dimensional function deny the supposed flatness of modernist space. Her work explores the contradiction of a fully realised space at once pertaining to logic and completeness and uncertainty and unease. The ornamental and optical play of colour and form in the artist’s work both confirms and confuses the sense of perception.
Jackson studied at St Martins School of Art from 1971 until 1975, followed by the Royal College of Art. She was President of the New Contemporaries in 1975 and had her first solo show at the AIR Gallery in 1981. She undertook the Yaddo Residency in New York twice, 1985 and 1991. She was chair and then patron for Brazier’s International Artist’s Workshop until 2013. She recently won The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist for the RA’s Summer Exhibition 2015.
Her prolific teaching career has seen her serve as Head of Painting at Winchester School of Art for nine years, as MA and Research Tutor at the Royal College of Art for fourteen years and as a Senior Tutor at the RA Schools for fifteen years until 2013. She is presently on the Edwin Austin Abbey Council and the British School at Rome Fine Art Faculty, for which she was previously awarded the Abbey Fellowship in 1995. She is included in Painting: Documents of Contemporary Art, published by the Whitechapel and MIT. Jackson lives and works in London.
Elected RA: 23 September 2015
Preferred media: Painting and Printmaking
In 2021, Jackson created 13 unique zebra crossings, aptly named UpTowndancing, as part of the RA’s partnership with Art of London to welcome people back to the capital by turning Piccadilly into an outdoor exhibition space.
The colourful works invited people to feel the rhythm created by Jackson’s vibrant colours as you cross the street. Now, her artwork takes centre stage as part of our new Friends of the RA membership design.