An Interview with the British Artist Piers Jackson in his Marylebone Studio, London

         Piers Jackson by Ithaka Roddam.

         Piers Jackson by Ithaka Roddam.

In the mind's eye there is no material hindrance, everything is just as one sees it.” Piers Jackson

 Piers Jackson is a London-based British artist whose polychromatic creations confront the boundaries of concave geometric forms. His focus on the untainted beauty of the sphere and an array of Platonic solids like the hexahedron symbolising earth or the tetrahedron symbolizing fire, has hypnotic effects on the audience. Piers combines these forms with carefully layered card and lustrous gold leaf to bring us to a meditative state of reflection upon what is missing from the work and our own lives. Bought by a broad spectrum of intellectuals, his complex work requires a deep level of understanding of aesthetics. 

At face value, Piers appears bohemian, yet ordered. He dresses in an exotic array of patterned shirts, juxtaposed with simple tailoring, which reflects the multi-dimensionality of his character. At first glance, Piers is the embodiment of eternal youth in both body and soul, but there is a depth to him, which harkens back to generations past. An observer of the human condition, yes, but he is no wallflower, as illustrated by lost hours we've spent swaying to the blues. Undoubtedly there are darker realms within, but more of a romantic quality, than the insatiable thirst for melancholy, which so consumes his contemporaries. In his approaching exhibition Speculation in November, many of his followers will miss the presence of his birds, but look closer and be exposed to the broad spectrum of symbolism, which lies beneath the surface of his gilded octahedrons. 

Before i was introduced to his geometric works I was seduced by the predatory image of a somber, black crow juxtaposed with a gold leaf background. The piece not only alluded to the metaphysical qualities associated with the bird, but also the underlying sense of darkness that plagues us all. Nicknamed the 'bird man' by Alexander McQueen, these will aways be some of his most recognisable works. Despite Piers’s love of art, the walls to his Marylebone studio are blank. Though, being a lover of the Shelley and Keats’s poetry as well as the writings of the stoic philosopher Epictetus, he has no shortage of scholarly stimulation. It’s clear to see that mathematics and philosophy are intrinsic to his artistic production, but let’s explore what else fuels the imagination of this innovative artist.  

                                                          The Green Lion, 2009, 63 x 72 cm

                                                          The Green Lion, 200963 x 72 cm

 

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion?

 When I was sixteen, a teacher at school presented a slide show of paintings at the

Tate. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do. My housemaster then introduced me to

the art teacher, and I've been making art ever since.

 

 What piece of your work would you like to be remembered for?

 I'd like to be remembered for a piece of work I made in 2012 called The Three

Veils.

 

   If you could be born in another period of history, when would it be?

 I believe mankind is descended from the gods, so perhaps 10,000 years ago.

 

   How would you define beauty in 140 characters or less?

 Beauty is perfect and simple, unshakable and blissful.

 

 Do you have a favourite book, film or painting, which inspires you?

 When I look at any painting by Giotto I feel inspired. I also admire the film Let the

Right One In. It reminds me of a girl who I was madly in love with at the time of its

release.

 

                         Yellow: 1995 (photograph: Nick Fry)  

                         Yellow: 1995 (photograph: Nick Fry)

 

What is your greatest indulgence in life?

 I think to be clean and put on fresh clothes.

 

   What fictional character from literature or film would you like to meet?

I'm not going to tell you.

 

Do you believe that true creative expression can exist in the digital world?

 Yes I do - nothing can hinder true creative expression for it will turn anything to its

purpose.

 

What do you wish every child were taught?

 I wish every child were taught what it feels like to be listened to.

 

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

 Yes, i'm ashamed to say there was a moment at which I felt desperately sorry for

myself, and hadn't enough money to buy materials.

 

                                                                   Tetra-Cube, 2006

                                                                   Tetra-Cube, 2006

 

What is your favourite museum or art gallery and why?

 My favourite is the British Museum because I'm fascinated by the Egypt Rooms.

 

Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?

 I'd like to collaborate with Polly Morgan. I think we could make something

wonderful.

 

 What is your daily routine when working?    

 Basically, I eat an early lunch, and then work all afternoon, yet my whole day is a

routine from the moment I get up till the moment I go to bed.

 

What has been your most inspiring travel experience?

 Travel doesn't inspire me. My life is an adventure, yet the journey is an inward one.

 

What advice would you give to a young person following in your footsteps?

Be true to your vision.

 

  Why do you love what you do?

 I love what I do because I'm devoted to the beauty of shape.

 

 

Written by Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, founder of Arteviste.com