Martine Jackson was first introduced to the idea of using clay as a medium for creative expression by her late mother, Barbara Jackson. Barbara was revered and adored for her ceramics and the role she played in starting the beading business, Monkeybiz. A strong creative lineage is apparent in the Jackson family, dating back to the sculptor Morris Adler (her grandfather).
Martine gained her artistic accreditation from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2000, and now is a well-known ceramicist, beader and business owner. Her latest work was exhibited at A New Wave, where designers showcased one-of-a-kind creations and were celebrated at the Southern Guild Gallery. Her inspiration is drawn from fashion, homeware and graphic design. Clay allows her to be transported to a tranquil space, and retreating into that space produces awe-inspiring work - intricate beaded murals and uniquely sculpted ceramics.
We caught up with Martine for an interview on her work and her creative process.
Zebra by Martine Jackson
What developments are you seeing in the ceramic art space?
I think that ceramics are becoming more of a respected art medium. They are featured in more gallery spaces and prices are reaching fine art levels - which is great to see.
Martine's Fold pendant lights, exhibited at Southern Guild's A New Wave exhibition
We loved your fold pendant lights at the A New Wave exhibition. Can you talk us through your inspiration behind these?
The shapes are inspired by the secret world that exists in the darkest depths of the ocean. I wish to express the eccentric appearance of the creatures that inhabit this world. By suspending the pendants, one is able to perceive their shapes as free floating forms, and in turn the light illuminates their form and the space they occupy, much like the creatures that inspired them.
You use the coil method - has this always been your approach to working with clay?
Yes, I have always hand-coiled my ceramic work.
Outbreak by Martine Jackson
Who are your favourite local creatives?
(ceramics), Gregor Jenkin
(beadwork), Design Afrika
(basket ware), Mungo
(textiles), Andrea Graaf
(interior design), MMA Design Studio
What piece of work would you spend R5000 on?
A ceramic by Nico Masemolo.
What piece of work would you spend R10000 on?
A Sanell Aggenbach
Who would be your dream collaborator?
My first dream collaboration came true. I collaborated with fine artist Galia Gluckman
on a body of ceramic vessels and plates. My second dream collaborator would be Tracy Lee lynch.
What advice do you have for young emerging creatives wanting to enter into the industry?
Endurance - no matter what, you have to constantly create. Reinvent - always experiment and try new ways of expressing yourself. Promote - if you don’t do it, nobody else will!
For more information on Martine Jackson please visit: martinejackson.com