Are You the Right Size for Your World?

Melanie Jackson (1968 - )

Digital print


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© Melanie Jackson

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road

    In asking us to consider ‘Are you the right size for your world?’ Melanie Jackson asks us an existential or provisional question. There is no way of quantifying what ‘right’ might mean in this context, nor is the world that we are being asked to contemplate quantifiable. This print, with its bright orange background and black typeface, mimics the language of the poster: the fact that the variable sized font is squeezed into the format conceptually ‘fits’ with the sentiment that is being expressed. 

    Jackson is interested in exploring ideas around change and transformation. Her work is exceptionally wide ranging – she draws on the prehistoric as well as the future – and is interested in the way that objects can both empower us and make us feel inadequate. Her work takes different forms including sculpture, comic book sequences and video works. Jackson collaborates with writer Esther Leslie. They have produced two elaborate, expansive, illustrated publications 'The Urpflanze' and 'The Ur-phenomenon', works that cannot be reduced to easy description but which reflect on the nature and role of the contemporary artist. 

    In recent work, Jackson has explored connections between nature and technology – how we perceive and position ourselves in relation to them and how they filter through into other areas of our lives. Presenting us with many irresolvable contradictions, Jackson’s art draws on her involvement with a process of making that favours experimentation over any definitive answers. 

    An example of Jackson’s complex approach can be seen in her installation 'Some Things You Are Not Allowed to Send Around the World' (Matt's Gallery, 2003). This presented a number of items that she found in the news media (newsprint and video) which she then used to construct her own films, pamphlets, maps and architectural models. Some works in the installation are made in response to a news story, others are invented. In one thread, she follows stories of individual people making very low key, everyday responses to much wider international, political or cultural concerns.
  • About the artist
    Melanie Jackson was born in Hollywood, West Midlands in 1968. She attended the Royal College of Art, and continues to live in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Deeper in the Pyramid, a multi-disciplinary project of animation, performance and sculpture at Grand Union, Birmingham (2018); The Nexus at Field Art Projects and the University of Bristol (2013); Urpflanze at The Drawing Room, London (2010); and Road Angel at Arnolfini, Bristol (2007). Group exhibitions include The Global Contemporary, ZKM, Karlsruhe, (2011); Hydrarchy: Power and Resistance at Sea Gasworks, London (2010); and Variable Capital, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, (2008). Jackson has also exhibited internationally in Chicago, Sydney, Shanghai, Berlin, Dublin and Turin. In 2014, she was part of a group exhibition, Botanical Drift at Kew Gardens; and in 2015, she took part in the Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan. Jackson won the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2007. She is currently Head of Undergraduate Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    digital print
  • Details
    Are You the Right Size for Your World?
    Digital print
    height: 112.00 cm, width: 83.00 cm
    Purchased from the Slade Print Fair, November 2013
    br: M Jackson / 31-10-2013 AP.
    Purchased from The Slade Print Fair, London, 2013
    GAC number