Jackie Berridge studied Fine Art at NTU, Nottingham and has an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, specialising in painting, drawing and illustration. More recently she completed the Turps Banana Correspondence Course for painters (2018-19). Solo shows include ‘Living Rooms’, Winchester College (2019), ‘Lost’, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wilts (2017), ‘Perfume & Savages’, Nottingham (2014)`Grace: Sequential Drawings’, Romford (2007) and ‘Unnatural Selection’ Derby Museum & Art Gallery (2002). She has been shortlisted for a number of awards including the Times Water Colour Competition (2020), the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize (2019) and Exceptional an award for recent graduates from London colleges. Her work was selected for RA Summer Shows (2017, 2016, 2010), the Columbian Threadneedle Prize (2016) and the London Group Exhibition (2017). She has exhibited in Seoul, Stockholm, Chicago, and Athens. Awards include the Sketch 2013 Exhibition Prize (The Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre), the Dragon Student Prize, ARU, Cambridge and the Nottingham Castle Open Prizes (2016,2012,2011).
Jackie has completed a number of residencies including the Hatchery self-directed residency (2020), Winchester College (2019), Artcore Residency, Vadadora, India (2020), Research Residency – Summer Lodge, Nottingham Trent University (2014), Art on Armitage, Chicago, USA (2011).
Jackie Berridge’s work focuses on people in domestic settings, representing a world of interior and exterior; a place to dream, a sanctuary or alternatively a place of captivity and imprisonment. Whilst occupants live cheek by jowl they also remain solitary and independent of each other. Colour, pattern and visual clues provide insights into character whilst the expression of individuals remains passive – allowing for personal interpretation.
Drawing has provided an escape for Jackie, especially during periods of self-isolation where drawing and imagination have enabled the artist to be transported back to childhood and role play. She concentrated on creating tiny dramas involving two or three individuals, all occupying their own world but within close proximity to one another. There is a joy of allowing thoughts to flow uninterrupted and uninhibited, tempered by the considered approach to colour, composition and form. The eye is taken on a route round a warren of images, each dwelling offering a different story. “There are constructions that begin as dwellings but then morph, reassemble and artfully collide with each other, endlessly leading the eye round and round without a means of escape”. (Geraldine Swayne 2019)
Influences are wide and varied and include animations for children (‘Mr Benn’, the ‘Clangers’, and ‘Magic Roundabout’), medieval altarpieces, Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’, the Starship Enterprise and Indian Miniatures. Mentally the Starship Enterprise gives a freedom to explore different boundaries and creates a visual bubble of infinite space. Whilst characters from stop-frame animation (60s and 70s) are a reminder of how the viewer can project expression onto impassive heads.
Even before a residency in Baroda, Gujarat in India (January 2019), Indian and Persian miniatures were an influence – especially in terms of the narrative content, delicious colour and the exquisite decorative details. Working alongside Indian artists, seeing Indian miniatures in context, witnessing traditional block printing as well as visits to architectural jewels left a big impact on the work. The surface became even more decorative and the pinkish value of the Indian light more evident. The colonial influence on local architecture also provided some interesting juxtapositions.
Landscape features prominently in the ‘Escape Rooms’ series and is inspired by formal public gardens such as the Italian Giardini di Boboli, the Botanical Gardens in Visby, and closer to home the Arboretum, Nottingham. Although observational drawing was important to the process, the final recall for the work was from memory.
Whilst vibrant colours and luscious foliage draw in the viewer, the narrative is often unsettling. The stories are ambiguous and allow for alternative interpretations.