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Artist's Biography and Statement

Davina Jackson is a figurative artist based in London where she currently works from a studio at Kingsgate workshops. She studied at Central St Martins and The Byam Shaw School of Art and completed her three year postgraduate at the Royal Academy Schools where she was awarded the Gold Medal for painting in her final year. Whilst juggling motherhood alongside her career as an artist, her work has featured in numerous group and mixed exhibitions, among them twelve appearances at The Royal Academy Summer Show. She has had eight solo shows, presenting work nationally and internationally, two of which were curated by the art historian and critic , Edward Lucie-Smith. Her work is represented in both private and public collections and throughout her career has won many awards, the most recent being the Royal Watercolour Society Open Award in 2023. In 2023 she was also

elected as a member of the Royal Watercolour Society.



Her interests have remained in the theatrical and psychological use of space and a search for poetic simplicity. She continues to explore and develop themes of human relationships and emotional states, finding and articulating the essence of an intimate moment or experience. She notices the way we inhabit our bodies, how we express ourselves through subtle gestures and reveal inner truths through our eye contact and body language. By the simplification of forms ,mark making and painterly gestures,  the figures, real bodies or abstracted, sometimes translucent and ephemeral, shift between spacial planes and yet at the same time, remain sculptural and monumental, portraying fragments of memory that lead one into a world that, in Gaston Bachelard's words, create "an intensity of being evolving in a vast perspective of intimate immensity". Her inspiration comes from everyday observations, poetry, storytelling, theatre, photography and her own personal lived experiences. Figures and stories from Greek Mythology have continued to provide ongoing inspiration and source material and in her solo show, Close To The Sun in 2019, she presented a body of work exploring the fate of humanity through different interpretations of allegorical Greek myths.

Davina has always and continues to paint in oils but during the pandemic, when she was forced to work from home, she rediscovered her love for the immediacy and more instinctive process of working with water based paints, allowing more accidents to happen, which in turn, reveal new subject matter and inform the direction of her work. At this time, she also experimented with painting on book covers, enjoying the given starting point of a title or coloured cloth ground to lead the way.This has lead her to think about using the titles or origins of the book to reveal something deeper about ourselves and our worlds. As an example, her painting Washing Day, (on the cover of Cambridge Reading in Italian Literature which was selected by Yinka Shonibare for the Royal Academy Summer exhibition 2021), offers a subtle contrasting world: that of the white, colonial history of South Africa, suggested by the white sheet ,blowing in the wind over a kneeling maid and the very British institution of Academia that was once only afforded to the very privileged. 

'So Jackson is Jackson still. Here is no lightening transformation, but rather, as should be the case with all the true artists, a gradual instinctive evolution. The focus shifts, the emphasis changes, the atmosphere lightens or darkens, but the vision remains the same." John Russell Taylor, art critic at the Times and author of numerous books on art.

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Artist's C.V

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