Melanie Jackson continues an ongoing interrogation of mutability and transformation. Drawing on the intimacies of knowledge at the nanoscale to the spectre of gargantuan monstrosities, there is an intrigue in the primordial to the yet-to-be-created. The ways that objects influence, socialise, or empower us – or render us insubstantial, are pursued to kaleidoscopic affect through sculpture, comic book sequences and moving image works.

Melanie Jackson collaborates with writer Esther Leslie. They have produced three publications The Urpflanze and The Ur-phenomenon and they are commonly pursuing liquidity; currently in the form of milk and clay.

Jackson’s is an expansive, ambitious and intuitive work not easily reducible to cursory description. Her attention to the illusory surface textures of protean forms is not solely attentive to liquid crystals but extends metaphorically to other social and scientific developments (a fictional Jack-and-the- Beanstalk becomes a modern genetic scientist, or crystals self-organise into a palace whose display function changes consumer society forever). .. her work carries within it a reflection on the new nature and task of the contemporary artist

Isobel Harbison, Transformism, The Arts Catalyst 2013

In the criticality of the work there is not a mournfulness for what has been lost, but the work is what I would call maximalist. It overloads the senses and the mind through collage and assemblage and defies totalizing frameworks. The work incorporates a generosity to its subjects, an enjoyment even in its discomfort and criticality… it offers what I would call “a radical discontinuity”. …a radical cosmopolitanism is to accept that comfort and ease with the world is a fraught and temporary state, but bringing yourself to account within the world and through it is what may make cosmopolitanism a force. This is what the cosmopolitan imagination can do.

Cosmopolitan Maximalism: Multi-Positionality, Excess and Contingency in the Art of Melanie Jackson and Vivienne Dick Rachel Garfield, Open Journal of The Arts 2013


Mel Jackson has been developing an aesthetic that allows her to reflect on the manner in which she is implicated in the condition of her subjects…She tries out tactics of representation which remain provisional rather than definitive, treating the gallery as a stage for experimentation with art roles. Here is mimicry, documentation, myth fabrication, cultural voyeurism, performance, animation, political commentary, music, installation, craft and the cultivation of aesthetic delight. The irresolvable contradictions in this set of maneouvres keeps her own complicity visible as part of the circulation of meanings around her art.

Mark Harris, Made In China, Matt’s Gallery 2005


Melanie Jackson


Selected works:

Solo Exhibitions

spekyng rybawdy

Mattflix (online exhibition/screening) Nov-Dec 2020

Deeper in the Pyramid

Grand Union/Primary Banner Repeater  January – July 2018


The Nexus
Publication and Event Sculpture
Field Art Projects/The University of Bristol 2013

The Urpflanze (Part 2)
Solo Exhibition Flat Time House, with the arts catalyst, London 2013
publication The Ur-phenomenon by Esther Leslie and Melanie Jackson

The Urpflanze (Part 2)
John Hansard Gallery, Southampton 2013
gallery publication, essay by Isabel Harbison.

International Fauna
Picture This, Spike Island Bristol
Commission by Relational with Picture This and animate projects

The Urpflanze (Part 1)
The Drawing Room, Brunswick Wharf, London E2. 2013

The Urpflanze (Part 1.1)
The Art Exchange, Arts on 5, University of Essex, Colchester. 2010.

Road Angel
The Arnolfini, Bristol 2006.

Made In China
Biz Art, Shanghai. 2005
Videotage, Hong Kong. 2005
Matt’s Gallery. 2005 with gallery publication essay by Mark Harris

Some Things You Are Not Allowed To Send Around The World
Matt’s Gallery, London 2003
with artists publication

soil and seawater
Chapter Arts Centre. 2000.
With publication.essay by Ian Hunt

The Brazen Oracle
an offsite project commissioned by bookworks –
Senate House Library 1999 With publication.
Project Arts Centre, Dublin. – 1995

Group Exhibitions

eva international Limerick, Ireland Guest Programme 2020-2021 little did they know

Undersides of Practice, APT studios, London 2020

Morphologies if Invisible Agents Space Studios, London 2019

Snow Crash IMT gallery, London 2019

Take Me to the River, DRF Biennale, Osaka, Japan 2015

Botanical Drift, Kew Gardens, 2014

The Beautifullest Place On Earth, The Red House 2014/2015
The National Trust/Arts Council England Share Academy

The Drawing Room, Drawing Biennale 2013, London

The Big Bamboozle, (fundraiser) Camden Arts Centre, London March 2013
Wunderkammer,offsite project in the Octagon Chapel, Bath. 2011 Group exhibition curated by bo.lee gallery, Bath

The Global Contemporary Art Worlds After 1989

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe Lorenzstraße 19 D – 76135 Karlsruhe Germany. 2012. Curated by Peter Weibel

Several Interruptions,15 Years of the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art 2012

MOVING FORWARD, HOLDING ON, HIT Gallery, Goteborg, Sweden. 2011 Group show with Slavs and Tartars and Melanie Jackson

Hydrarchy:Power and Resistance at Sea Gasworks, London. 2010 conference Gasworks/UCL and publication CEC Egypt

Provenance,Corsham Court, Wiltshire

Far West Arnolfini Bristol, UK. 2008

Far West, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK 2009

The Intertwining Line, Drawing as Subversive Art. Cornerhouse. 2009

Art Futures, Bloomberg Space, London. 2008

Variable Capital, The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. 2008 with publication Mundos Locais, Centro Cultural de Lagos, Lagos, Portugal. 2008 with publication

Port City: On Mobility and Exchange The A Foundation 2008, Arnolfini Gallery. 2007, John Hansard Gallery 2007 with publication

The Jerwood Drawing Prize, The Jerwood Gallery London and National Tour 007 (Prize Winner)

Shanghype, Museum of Film, Turin 2007

Locale. A1 Contemporary Art Space, Hong Kong 2007

Melanie Jackson, Kwong Lee, Paul Rooney, Becky Shaw, Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman

Made In China, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. 2006

fascinations, hanart tz gallery. 2005

60 Seconds. , N.o.where Lab, London Launch DVD and screening 2004 including Karen Mirza, Brad Butler and Malcolm Le Grice

Bootleg, Spitalfields Market, 2003

Group exhibition of 50 artists including Carey Young, Nathaniel Mellors, Elizabeth Price

Urban Networks,The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2003

Art News,Three colts Lane Gallery, London 2001

Perspective 2000, Ormeau Baths Gallery. Belfast 2000

Backspace, Matts Gallery November 1999

A one week one person exhibition in a rotation of gallery artists.

Clean Slate, Art Gallery of New South Wales. 1999

In and Out of Touch group exhibition touring Hungary and Berlin 1995 (Curated by Barbara Thumm, Budapest, Galeria, Budapest, Ungarn – Haus Ungarn, Berlin, Germany)

Escale/Stopover/Tussenstop, Musee d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve d’Ascq 1994