Jackson was born in 1982 in Devon and went to Somerset School
of Art. She was told about the Stuckists, along with other art
movements such as Surrealism and Actionism, as part of her art
history lectures at college. When she went to the Tate to find
examples of work by these movements, she was puzzled that she
couldn't find any by the Stuckists, which she recognised as
a living and still evolving movement, whose aims she identified
with. Soon after graduating, she got in touch with Charles Thomson,
and founded the Oval Stuckists. She wrote to Sir Nicholas Serota,
Director of the Tate, to tell him about her experience while
an undergraduate and express her disappointment at the lack
of representation of the movement in the Tate. He replied that
he was sorry he could not agree with her view.
is a dynamic participant in the art world and has already made
her mark in several ways. She supported the Artists' Resale
Rights campaign, taking part in a demonstration in January 2006,
organised by the Designers and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
at Whitehall, and being one of the four artist representatives
who were alloed to hand in the petition at the door of number
10, Downing Street. Her letter on the subject was published
in The Times (page 16, 25.1.06). She said,
I was one of the artists who delivered the petition for
the resale right to No 10. At 23 I am not yet an established
artist, but I am passionate about painting. A Bill like
this will encourage young artists to keep going, even when
they can't afford a studio or a takeaway at the weekend.
I don't want money to go towards a lavish wedding, I need
it to continue painting. Dealers make an absolute killing,
so it doesn't take a school-leaver to understand why Hockney
and his out-of touch protesters (letter, Jan 21) oppose
has also had a busy schedule of exhibitions, including the Stuckist
group show, "Painting is the Medium of Yesterday"
- Paul Myners, and solo shows at the Adam Street Gallery
and Diorama Gallery. In 2006, she donated her painting Foreign
Policy 2000 to Brian Haw's peace protest display outside
parliament. This was one of the works then confiscated by the
Metropolitan Police and subsequently recreated by Mark Wallinger
in his re-enactment of the display in Tate Britain under the
title State Britain, which opened in January 2007. The
painting, which shows President Bush as a dominatrix whipping
Tony Blair on all fours, was previously shown at the Wellington
instigated and co-curated Lost and Found, the first show
of artists from the Saatchi Your Gallery website: this took
place at the Brick Lane Gallery in East London.
love to paint. I paint pictures mainly figurative work. I like
to centre on the figure - that's always what I work on first,
but the main enjoyment is brushwork that's around the figure.
When I was a child I'd draw around and around the outline of
a figure, like a woodgrain effec. This is a more advanced version
of that. The subjects are folklore and nature. There's a series
on the Disney heroine. I feel that I was indoctrinated as a
child through fairy tales, the culture that surrounds you as
a child, especially being a female. It's a constant barrage
of princesses meeting the knight in shining armour. I totally
embraced it as a child. I loved that idea, but it's not until
you grow up as a young woman, that you realise "why do
I have such a rose tinted view of relationships and life?"
The thread goes back to the folklore and fairy tale that surrounded
me as a kid. As soon as I started to question my own life and
relationships, that's when I gained insight, which translates
through my work. As an adult, this fairy tale image never disappears.
It just morphs through celebrity culture and the ideal woman
is no longer a Disney princess: she's a skinny celebrity princess
with the perfect movie star boyfriend, who has taken the place
of the knight in shining armour. I've taken elements from the
childhood fairy tale and the contemporary fairy tale of the
celebrity lifestyle, merging the two ideas into work such as
Death of the Rocks, which portrays the Disney Little Mermaid
slitting her wrists.
critical writing includes articles in The Hospital magazine,
Ditched and Still Life v Real Life in Aesthetica, issue
11, November 2005, (web archive of Aesthetica here,
where she contrasts the different responses of Stuckist artist
Wolf Howard and Luc Tuymans to the subject of 9/11.
Abby writes for Art
in London (formerly Graffiti) magazine (available
from galleries and museums, send A5 s.a.e. with 75p stamp to
Graffiti, 22 Summerfield Road, London W5 1ND).
2007 (pdf): page 24 (Mark Wallinger), page 60 (Stuckism)
2007 (pdf): page 66 (street art in Brighton), page 38 (art
2008 (pdf): page 29 (Edward Lucie-Smith)
Serota sticks it up the Stuckists
The nomination of Mark Wallinger for this year's Turner Prize
with State Britain presents a problem to the organisers. Wallinger's
piece, a recreation of Brian Haw's peace protest camp in Parliament
Square, includes in it a copy of the work of one Abby Jackson.
The painting in question, donated by Jackson to Haw, depicts
Blair as a dog on a lead and George W Bush as his master. Jackson,
however, is a member of the Stuckist group, which protests annually
against the Turner Prize, calling for a return to figurative
art. She says: 'State Britain is a true metaphor of conceptual
art, as it's fake. I feel that I and the other people who contributed
to Brian's display are the original artists.' Nicholas Serota,
director of the Tate Gallery, which commissioned Wallinger's
installation and nominated it for the prize, has described the
Stuckists' work as insufficiently 'original' for inclusion in
his gallery's collection. Ironic.
More on Mark Wallinger
and Tate rejects Stuckist donation
Jackson (centre) with Michael
Dickinson (left) in Istanbul in 2008.
Abby Jackson web
Abby Jackson on Saatchi