You can smell the salt air in a Jackie Gardiner painting.
She lives by the sea in the fishing port of Arbroath on Scotland’s craggy north east coast and almost by osmosis, absorbs the power
of the crashing waves which are constant in this part of the world.
Like Joan Eardley, who drew endless inspiration from the day-to-day life of the cliff top village of Catterline some 30 miles up the coast, Gardiner stirs
her very fibre into her paintings.
Whether it’s a moonlit night in winter or inky blue skies presiding over a tumultuous sea or a set of boats on a shoreline, Gardiner brings
a loose, almost jazz-like riff to the party when she sets out to convey her world.
Unsurprisingly, music plays a major role in her life and in a day’s work. She’s a huge fan of Nordic jazz, with Edinburgh based guitarist Haftor Medboe [‘sculptor of aquatic soundscapes]
being a particular favourite. She also turns to the music of Esbjorn Svensson for inspiration. Both musicians ‘never fail to deliver’ she says.
The top student in a cohort which graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in nearby Dundee, Gardiner says her approach to making art has always been free-form and she pushes her ideas of belonging and separation in her boat stories.
She travels extensively with her partner, Allan Paris, whom she describes as ‘ a beautiful painter and the person who has influenced me most’. She explains: ‘’We’ve seen Basquiat in Paris, Picasso in Malaga and Barcelona, Boticelli in Florence and Breugel and Schiele in Vienna recently. The list is long and although we have seen the work of the big hitters, many smaller and more intimate exhibitions have left their mark too. Particularly printmaking works in Krakow and Gdansk..
We’ve now visited the Venice Biennale four times and we are slowly getting to know this unique water city. Seeing one of my own paintings there at a private exhibition was quite exciting! It was fantastic to be asked to show with an international group of artists.
It’s always inspirational to see new works which fire up the imagination. My most recent books to get lost in are the works of Russian born Nicolas de Stael and the American artist Richard Diebenkorn.’’
The journey never ends for Jackie Gardiner. dive into one of her paintings and feel the force!