(l) “Certaine Wytches; Chelmsford, Essex, 1566” (2009) 1950mm x 1560mm
(r) “Witch-Hunt: Maleficium (In Memoriam)” (2007) 1800mm x 1700mm
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. I was 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.
In Autumn 2017, I launched my one-woman show of ‘The Witchcraft Series’ so far, at The Museum in the Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK. Entitled “Certaine Wytches: Fear, Myth & Magic.” It was very well received and is now set up to tour the UK, and perhaps further. It has recently been booked to appear at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon, UK, in Spring 2019. Further information can be found on my website, www.annejackson.co.uk, or by following me on Facebook, or Twitter (@knotgirl1). A fully-illustrated book of the series so far, entitled “Witch, Hexe, Sorciere” is available. Contact me for details.
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 have since been accepted for the next Riga Triennial, in June 2018.
I belong to the Steering Group of European Tapestry Forum. I am an occasional Visiting Tutor at the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK, and at West Dean College, Sussex, UK, since 2016. As well as my recent book, I have published a number of catalogue essays and reviews, notably in Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture.