‘Kurt Jackson’s art is genuinely radical. It is an intrinsic part of his wider, awareness-changing agenda. Jackson’s art makes actual the brightness of seeing clearly, moments of heightened consciousness, vital both for science and for art.’ Julian Spalding, Art UK, September 2021
Mermaids' Tears was commissioned to raise awareness of the devastating effects of plastic pollution in our seas and to coincide with COP 26 – the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – in Glasgow on 31 October–12 November 2021. It interprets a painting made by Jackson in 2016 for the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage. The plastic pieces embedded in the original painting have enabled Dovecot to experiment using plastic, debris and string fibres collected by Jackson from beaches near his home. Every textile art piece produced by Dovecot is an interpretive and creative collaboration between artist and weaver. In this case, constructed textile specialist Louise Trotter worked with Kurt Jackson to achieve a balance of colour and texture. The contrast between the fishing rope and wool (the traditional and sustainable fibre used in rug making) powerfully illustrated the incursion of plastics into the natural environment.
While this commission was created for the Jackson Foundation, Dovecot rugs can be produced in series or as editions. Their hand-tufted quality means that each version of the edition becomes a new work in itself as the rug -makers creative interpretation speaks through the final work.