Kenneth Jackson is a photographic artist who is largely self-educated in the craft, esthetics, and history of the medium. His photographs range widely in subject and have included natural and human environments, still life, portraits, and the nude. Jackson has often used alternative photographic processes such as ziatype and gum bichromate to create work in unique prints and small-editions. In recent years his work has begun to gain wider recognition, having been exhibited around the US and overseas. Jackson lives on a wooded hilltop in rural Chatham County, North Carolina.
About my practice of photography
The threshold between ordinariness and underlying mystery is where I most enjoy working. I stay alert for it during the whole process, from the time that I make an initial exposure through the printing of the image I've created from that exposure. I think of my photographs as poetic visual meditations rather than as literal documents, expressing the deep beauties of this passing world and our brief lives. As the depth psychologist James Hillman wrote: "That the world is loveless results directly from the repression of beauty, its beauty and our sensitivity to beauty. For love to return to the world, beauty must first return, else we love the world only as a moral duty.”
I don't believe that a camera ever captures anything - not a person, gesture, place, or thing. Not landscape, light, nor movement. All that stuff is utterly fugitive. Light and time simply leave energetic traces, whether on a film emulsion or in the electronics of a digital camera. So when I photograph, I try to be present, connect with, feel what is passing before my lens, and let it leave its traces on the medium and in me. Afterwards, there is the process of remembering and ripening of the traces recorded both by my camera and by my mind. Sometimes that is necessarily a slow process, but in this age of the quick and facile, that suits me fine.
The craft of printing a photo is wonderful and underappreciated. I feel a photographic impression to be incomplete and unrealized until it is expressed as a physical print. For much of my work I have turned turn to time- and labor-intensive alternative processes such as ziatype, cyanotype, and gum bichromate to create unique and small-edition prints. This helps keep my work grounded in the physical, sensual world of objects while at the same time following my instinct for getting below the surface of things.
Exhibitions and Publications
Altered Narratives. Group exhibition of alternative process works by twelve artists. City Gallery on the Waterfront, Charleston, SC.
Exhibition of selected works from the Texas Photographic Society Alternative Processes Competition, at LOOK 15: The Liverpool International Photography Festival. Liverpool, UK.
Alternative Processes Competition. Juried by Christopher James. Texas Photographic Society. Options Gallery, Odessa College, in Odessa, TX.
International Portrait Exhibition. Invitational group show including two American and four European artists. The Loft gallery, San Pedro, CA.
Diffusion: unconventional photography Volume IV, Summer 2012
"Muse" Juried Group Showcase Selection
The Photographic Nude: in the spirit of Ruth Bernhard. Juried by Cherie Hiser. LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, Oregon.
Lens on the Land: An invitational group exhibition. Castell Photography Gallery, Asheville, NC.
Pose and Gesture. Juried by Tim Anderson. Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont.
Exposed: Nudes in Art 2010. Group Exhibition. Litmus Gallery and Studios, Raleigh, NC.
Alternatives: Uncommon and Unconventional Processes. Juried by Keith Taylor. Minneapolis Photo Center, Minneapolis, MN.
Low Tech Exhibition. Juried by Crista Dix. Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO.
Natural Poetics. Shared exhibition with Rochelle Moser. Art of Chiropractic gallery, Minneapolis, MN.
Alternative Processes Exhibition. Juried by Blue Mitchell. Photoplace Gallery, Vermont Photography Workplace, Middlebury, VT.
Alternative Processes: A Traveling Exhibition. Juried by Christopher James. Texas Photographic Society, San Antonio, TX. Opened at the Options Gallery, Odessa College, in Odessa, TX in early 2009, and traveled to various locations through 2010.
Badlands: Figure in the Landscape. Group exhibition. Umber Studios, Minneapolis, MN.
SlowExposures 2007: Exhibition Celebrating Photography of the Rural South. Juried by Sylvia Plachy and Birney Imes. R.F. Strickland Building, Concord, GA.
Alternative Processes Exhibition. Juried by Elizabeth Spungen. Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO.
Anima Mundi. Solo exhibition. Fayetteville Museum of Art.
Upaya. Solo exhibition. Throckmorton Library, Fort Bragg, NC.
Upaya. Solo exhibition. Virginia Intermont College Photography Gallery, Bristol, VA.
Texas Photographic Society’s 22nd Member’s Only Show. Juried by Kathy Vargas. University of the Incarnate Word’s Semmes Art Gallery, San Antonio, TX.
In Search of Spiritual Essence. Group exhibition curated by Michele Horn. Fayetteville Museum of Art, Fayetteville, NC.
Discovering Contemporary Art in the Carolinas: A Juried Exhibition for North & South Carolina Artists. Juried by Mark Sloan. Fayetteville Museum of Art, Fayetteville, NC.
In Focus Photography Competition, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Juried by Allen Thomas Jr., Dennis Weller, and Emily Rosen. Online exhibit.
Discovering Contemporary Art in the Carolinas: A Juried Exhibition for North & South Carolina Artists. Juried by Katsumi Murakami. Fayetteville Museum of Art, Fayetteville, NC.