'Biodiversity' opening at City Art Gallery as part of environmentally-themed series

Kurt Jackson Strandline 2019 mixed media on linen the artistSouthampton City Art Gallery has announced the opening of Kurt Jackson’s Biodiversity, the latest in a series of exhibitions at the gallery that explore environmental concerns and the impact of climate change, running from May 27 to October 8 29.

This from Southampton City Council in their own words

Kurt Jackson Strandline 2019 mixed media on linen the artist
Kurt Jackson, Strandline, 2019, mixed media on linen © the artist

Biodiversity is an exhibition of paintings, found objects and sculptures by Jackson, a dedicated environmentalist. The works were made in locations across the UK, including the New Forest and south coast, and reflect the specific biodiversity in each area. Some locations have a huge range of life forms, some are barren, some dominated by nature, and some by human life. The bird life might be visible, apparent but the various mosses or lichen are often less obvious. Insects can be subtly hidden, but the trees are visible.

The spectrum of life, the variety and range of different species of plant and animal to be found living in one place is referred to as the biodiversity of that location. It is used as a measure of how well or poorly natural life is coping, it is a mark of how ecological processes are managing. Our existence depends on this biodiversity; the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink ultimately all requires it. Each habitat has its own biodiversity.

Jackson’s work reflects the amazingly biodiverse world we live in and how this is changing as a result of human activity and climate change. This new body of work focuses on the vital interdependence of the lifeforms and landscapes which make up our environment.

The exhibition is supported by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust who are working in partnership with Southampton City Council. The next step of this partnership is to recruit a Wilder Communities Project Officer to support the development and delivery of a Wilder Southampton, part of the Wilder Hampshire and Isle of Wight project.

Kurt Jackson says: “My aim is to raise awareness of the intricate, beautiful, but vulnerable ecosystems that exist all around us. By being aware of the life we share this planet with, we can appreciate and hopefully conserve it. Some of the most important natural habitats in the country including ancient forest, lowland heath and salt marsh are literally on Southampton’s doorstep.”

Councillor Kaur, Leader of Southampton City Council said: “We’re the first generation to understand the true impact of the climate crisis and the last generation to be able to do something about it. Culture has an important part to play in raising awareness of the issue, which is why were excited to host this incredible new exhibition showing some amazing ecosystems around the UK and highlighting the direct impact that climate change is having on these precious habitats. It’s an important story to tell as Southampton bids to become UK City of Culture 2025."

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