Anne Jackson’s Statement
The works I am showing here are all from my continuing project, ‘The Witchcraft Series.’ I am exploring the history of witch persecutions, specifically in Europe, and contemporary attitudes to the idea of ‘witchcraft.’ I see it as a fruitful metaphor, both for contemporary political problems and historic attitudes to women, power, science, medicine and the unknown. These works use imagery and text from original historic documents and pamphlets. I think it is no coincidence that witch-persecution flared up across Europe soon after the invention of the printing press. The quest for sensational stories to print continues to this day, with hard facts and evidence often discarded or ignored. The images in ‘Witch-Hunt: Maleficium (In Memoriam)’ come from the earliest books published about the dangerous presence of witches in society, and all the dreadful deeds they did. In ‘Certaine Wytches; Chelmsford, Essex 1566’ I used the images (supposedly) of the actual women who were hanged, Agnes and Joan Waterhouse, her daughter, trying to give those women faces as a sort of memorial. The skeleton-image in ‘Ursula Kempe; St. Osyth, Essex, 1582’ is based on a postcard of 1929; the remains were thought to be those of Ursula Kempe, executed for witchcraft, and were a sensational tourist attraction in the county of Essex, England for a number of years after they were found. In all the works in this series I intend to evoke a sense of compassion for people caught up in uncontrollable events. I hope eventually to do a large touring one-woman show of ‘The Witchcraft Series’.
Anne Jackson’s Biography
I was raised in the US, moving to St. Andrews University in Scotland, in 1973. I took a degree in Medieval History, and a few years later went to Middlesex University, London, to train in woven tapestry. While there, I evolved a hybrid technique called “knotted tapestry”, which has been my preferred medium ever since.
In recent years I have often exhibited internationally. I showed in ARTAPESTRY1, 2 & 3, touring Europe between 2005-2014, and in American Tapestry Biennials 6, 7 & 8. I was a guest speaker at ATB8 in Lowell, Massachusetts. I exhibited in the Rijswijk Textile Biennial in the Netherlands in 2013, and the Riga Textile Triennial, Latvia, in 2015, when I was also shortlisted for the first Cordis Trust Prize for Tapestry in Edinburgh.
I belong to the Steering Group of European Tapestry Forum. I am a Visiting Tutor at the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK, since 2016, and at West Dean College, Sussex, UK, also since 2016. I have published a number of catalogue essays and reviews, notably in Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture. Currently I am working toward a one-woman show at the Museum in the Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, running from September 30th-November 5th, 2017.