Leading British artist, Kurt Jackson, has created a collection of works, in aid of the Prisoners of Conscience. Jackson’s Pigeonholed collection depicts pigeons in various guises which he has created to reflect the experience of prisoners of conscience. The works include images of wood pigeons, racing pigeons and doves of peace.
The collection (mixed media, ink, pencil) was exhibited in central London on 21-29 November at the offices of the Guardian in London, culminating in a sale of works on 29th November.
Kurt Jackson has raised significant funds for the vital work of Prisoners of Conscience, which will help political prisoners, human rights defenders, lawyers, environmental activists, artists and academics all over the world.
The paintings are available to view here.
Kurt Jackson said:
“Here above the roof tops of St Just a small flock of pigeons can occasionally be seen hurtling over the chimney pots dashing towards the cliffs and the open Atlantic. Years ago this was a common sight, sometimes two or three flocks of these racing birds could be seen at the same time but not now. The birds are racing pigeons, kept by the tin miners here in West Cornwall. Staring at racing pigeons you are reminded of their wild free relatives on the cliffs nearby. If the dove [the domesticated pigeon] has represented peace and freedom then extend that to the wild species and you have the ultimate metaphor. I decided to make a body of work with that in mind.”
Chair of Prisoners of Conscience, Catriona Jarvis, said:
“Kurt has conceived a series of works that reveal aspects of experience of the prisoner of conscience – of solitude, of despair, of loneliness, but for the most part, of desire for and experience of peace and freedom, of being reunited with family and friends, of messages sent, whether actual or imagined, symbolised in carrier pigeons and doves of peace.”
A special edition book, featuring images of Kurt’s works in the collection and contributions from prisoners of conscience including Desmond Tutu, one of the charity’s international patrons, was launched at the exhibition. Proceeds from the sale of the book will also go to the Prisoners of Conscience. Please contact the office on 020 7407 6644 to order a copy.
Additionally, the special edition book features poems and prose from campaigners and writers including the Orange Prize for Fiction shortlisted authors Gillian Slovo and Kamila Shamsie, Justice Edwin Cameron, the South African Judge of the Constitutional Court described by Nelson Mandela as “one of South Africa’s new heroes” and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a patron of Prisoners of Conscience, who led several key cases for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), including those of Bosnian Croat Dario Kordic and Slobodan Milosevic.
Catriona Jarvis added:
“Together with the extraordinary written contributions, Kurt’s depictions create an expression that informs and delights but also disturbs and provokes. I hope that the book and the exhibition will provoke us all to help make a better future for those who are or have been prisoners of conscience.”
We are extremely grateful to Kurt Jackson and his family, for the incredible support they have given to Prisoners of Conscience.