Valda Jackson MBE RWA MA MRSS

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Self Portrait.

Valda Jackson is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, and a writer. Valda explores the psychology of migration, identity, and loss. She makes work about our human existence and survival – themes which extend themselves into her public art commissions.

Designer of the Royal Mint coin commemorating the 75th anniversary of Windrush generations, released in 2023, Valda was also shortlisted for the prestigious National Windrush Monument commission in 2021. Her large-scale billboard, Still Holding On (3), commissioned by the RWA, Bristol, was exhibited in the Arts Council, Collection Exhibition: Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City 2023. 

Valda’s untitled manuscript, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Bath Spa Prize 2021 by Janklow & Nesbit. She is a Hawthornden Literary Fellow – with short stories appearing in anthologies including The Book of Bristol, Comma Press (2023), online MMXX, Bath Spa University (2022), The Peepal Tree Book of Caribbean Short Stories (2018), Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories (Peepal Tree Press 2015).

Valda’s long- term collaborative public art practice, Jackson and Harris, is currently commissioned By Peabody at St Johns Hill in Clapham, London, for a series of public sculptures integrated into the architecture. Phase one, completed in 2017 won the Public Sculpture and Statues Association (PSSA) Marsh award for excellence in public sculpture.


valdajackson@yahoo.co.uk
0758 4433 183
Studio: 94A, Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol.

Commissions

Current

  • Phase Three, Peabody Trust St John's Hill Estate in Clapham, London.
  • 'At A Loss", Art Central Gallery, Barry, S Wales, Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Previous

  • 2023 Found Cities, Lost Objects, Women in the City, RWA, Bristol.
  • 2023 Espalier, Public Sculpture, Jackson and Harris, Peabody St Johns Hill Estate, Clapham, London.
  • 2020 New District Community Centre Sculpture, Didcot, Vale of White Horse District Council.
  • 2018 'Still Holding On' Billboard, Dreamland Mural By The Sea, Margate.
  • 2014-2020 Commissioned by The Peabody Trust for the Public art element on the redevelopment of the St John's Hill Estate in Clapham, London.
  • 2015-2016 Two Brick Relief Sculptures for Brick Kiln Bank Housing development - Telford, Shropshire.
  • 2013 Brick relief sculpture, Shield Retail Centre - Filton, Eagle Land Development, Bristol.
  • 2005-6 Major Public Sculpture commissioned by Bristol City Council - Learning and Family Centre, St Paul's, Bristol.
  • 2001-2 Major Public Sculpture Newport City Council at Station Approach. (8 x 2 metres) Titled 'Newport Castle'. Subtly highlighting the colour bar and exclusion of Black people from various career development paths following post-war migration. 'Newport Castle' is a landmark of the urban regeneration project in the main city centre.
  • 1995-2000 commissions from the private sector including 'Mare and Foal', life size Brick Relief commissioned by Developers in Newmarket Suffolk, and paintings in oil.

Projects / Collaborations

Collaborative Public Art Practice with sculptor Rodney Harris, JacksonandHarris.

  • November 2017 screening short Always Work in Progress Georgian House Museum, Bristol.
  • July 2017 Presented Paper at the Afroeuropeans Conference: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe at University of Tampere, Finland.
  • October 2016 Literary Archaeology, collaboration with Bristol University's English Department, Archaeologists from Cambridge and Exeter Universities. Funded by AHRC.
  • February 2016 collaboration with Libita Clayton In the Absence of Ruins (There Will Be Innovation) at Arnolfini Bristol.

Founder member of the Artist-led group Our Stories Make Waves. Collaborative projects include:-

  • creating and facilitating public workshops focusing on British migration;
  • development of a public debate around the topic of Public Memorials to icons of British history and culture commemorated in the cityscape;
  • written dialogues and performance using the ss Great Britain as venue, inspiration, and their archives as source material - funded by Brunel 200.

Papers / Screenings

  • Presented paper and film at Black In/visibilities conference at University of Lisbon Purtugal, July 2019
  • The 6th Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe, presented paper at conference at University of Tampere, Finland 2017
  • October 2016 - screening short film How I Feel (Handle with care) Georgian House Museum, Bristol.
  • April 2016 WHBBH (What's Happening in Black British History) at Watershed, presented a paper and screening of short film
  • March 2016 Conference Framing the Critical Decade, After the Black Arts Movement, History of Art Department University of Bristol, presented paper/film
  • 2015 heArt for HEart Sake sharing written narratives and studio work, Speakeasy Southwest, Bristol, performed work, broadcasted curated event, Bristol & Bath Art Weekender at BEEF (Bristol Experimental Expanded Film).

Exhibitions (selected)

  • 2017 'Still Holding On' Billboard, at Dreamland, Margate
  • May 2010 onwards - Annual show Spike Open
  • 2014 - Group Show, Sculptures 'Giant Snails & Tiny Lions' View Gallery
  • 2013/14 '161 Open Exhibition' RWA Bristol
  • 2009 Drawings and Paintings 'African Voices', Spike Gallery
  • 1995 'British Identity in Art' Weston College of Art & Design
  • 1994 Drawings and Paintings, Ruskin Hall, UCE
  • 1993 Drawings and Paintings, Ruskin Hall, UCE
  • 1993 Millfield Open Exhibition, Atkinson Gallery
  • 1992 National Portrait Gallery Drawings and Paintings, Ruskin Hall, UCE Millfield Open Exhibition, Atkinson Gallery
  • 1991 Drawings and Paintings, Morley Gallery

Writing

  • In the process of writing a novel
  • Currently working with, Peepal Tree Press to complete a collection of short stories and narrative prose
  • 2018 Short Story published in The Peepal Tree Book of Caribbean Short Stories
  • 2015 Short Story published in Closure Contemporary Black British Short Stories published by Peepal Tree Press.
  • 2014 Shortlisted for the the BBC R4 Short Story Prize

Bibliography

  • Published short story The Peepal Tree Book of Contemprary Caribbean Short Stories, (Peepal Tree Press) 2017
  • Closure: An Anthology of Contemporary Black British Fiction, (Peepal Tree Press) 2015
  • Sculpture included in The Echoing Gallery: Bristol Poets and Art in the City, (Redcliff Press) 2013
  • Public Sculpture of Bristol, Merritt, Greenacre & Eustace (Liverpool University Press) 2011.

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