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Kurt Painting, Pyramid Stage

Kurt at Glastonbury

In 2020 the Jackson Foundation hosted the retrospective exhibition  of Kurt Jackson’s Glastonbury work Art/Music/Activism in association with the environmental charity Greenpeace.

Kurt Jackson has been Glastonbury’s Artist-in-Residence for nearly 20 years, creating art from onstage and within the festival’s crowds. Many of these works are later auctioned off to raise funds for the festival charities Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid. To date proceeds from the sale of these works has raised over £250,000.

For a number of years, Kurt designed the image printed on the cotton bag given to all 150,000 festival goers and it has become a bit of a tradition that one of the Glastonbury Festival t-shirts feature Kurt Jackson artwork.

This page features a small selection of the work Jackson has produced over the years along with two films following Kurt in his role as Glastonbury Festival Artist in Residence and highlights the causes that are supported through his work.

“Fun and politics are a great mix – so… I go to Glastonbury Festival to work – I sketch and draw and paint and scribble above the crowds, in the crowds, under peoples feet, in their faces; I aim to immerse myself in the Glastonbury experience and come away with some kind of record on paper showing what I’ve seen, felt and experienced.” he explains.

“The great thing about Glastonbury is that it’s about fun and delight (and a bit of hedonism) but also engages with the serious issues of the future of the planet and our environment,” says Jackson. “Glastonbury – I’ve been at most of them, I’ve painted over a quarter of them. Glastonbury, Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid have become entwined, woven together as an important strand of my working and political life.”

These paintings and sketches show festival royalty looking out across their massed ecstatic armies, veiled travellers from the Sahara cradling their guitars like electric scimitars, lost revellers fluttering around the lights of a doughnut stall and panoramic landscapes of the vast faerie city of mud and scaffolding, neon and wood smoke that swirls across the Vale of Avalon after summer solstice.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury says: “My daughter Juliet, who lives next door to Kurt, phoned me years ago to tell me of his amazing work. We were all immediately convinced of his artistic skills and he was appointed our “Artist in Residence”. From then on all is now history as his terrific ability speaks for itself. His paintings hang all around the world, portraying the unique atmospheric colours and shades of perfection that our Festival creates.”

Excerpt from ‘Kurt Jackson – An artistic taste of Glastonbury’. The Independent. 27 May 2010.

  • Glastonbury Festival fence. 2014.
    reclaimed tent pegs and other found metal objects.
    400 x 70cm.
  • Scorcher, Femi Kuti on the Pyramid stage, Glastonbury 2010. mixed media on linen. 200 x 320cm.
    Scorcher, Femi Kuti on the Pyramid stage, Glastonbury 2010.
    mixed media on linen.
    200 x 320cm.

Kurt Jackson Glastonbury Films

Follow Glastonbury Festival Artist in Residence Kurt Jackson as he goes backstage, up in the air and into the wild to capture the sights and sounds of the world’s largest cultural congregation, the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.
A Taste of Glastonbury (2010)

Edited by Fynn Tucker

This film is a retrospective of media coverage in the papers and on television covering Kurt’s work as the festival artist/artist in residence at Glastonbury Festival over all these years.

This film was created to accompany an exhibition/charity auction in which works from and depicting Glastonbury Festival were put under the hammer in aid of Greenpeace.

Kurt Jackson: Live at Glastonbury 2010 (2011)
Filmed and Edited by Fynn Tucker

“In 2010 Michael Eavis built me my own stage to paint the festival from a new perspective.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Radiohead for use of the song ‘Morning Mr Magpie’, from their 2011 album ‘The King of Limbs’.”

This film was made to be shown as part of Falmouth Art Gallery’s retrospective Kurt Jackson at 50.