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Powerful memories.

Byline: By Sarah Leese

One of the leading figurative painters of his generation is displaying almost half a century of his work at Northumbria University Gallery. Sarah Leese reports

The first few years of artist Andrzej Jackowski's life were spent in a refugee camp on the English/Welsh border.

Born in 1947 in North Wales, Jackowski painted his first self-portrait after his parents separated when he was just 14.

It was at this point that he decided to become a painter.

Most of his work is biographical in detail and is based on early childhood memories, recollections of a family history in Poland, and in some cases his deepest feelings and experiences.

The exhibition follows Jackowski's evolution from art school days to his current, complex dream-like compositions, which explore the subjects of myth and memory, childhood and dispossession, which are presented by a rare retrospective of his drawings at the gallery.

He describes his father as "a great carrier of History, Stories and Albums." In this instance he refers to his father's stamp albums, but photographs and certain objects and also important reference material.

Talking about his work, Jackowski explains that it fluctuates "between a kind of vigilant dreaming and being wide awake. As a young painter, I drew for many years with my (untrained) left hand to break the spell of natural representation.

"It took me several years to find these powerful, insistent and significant images which derive from the cellars of the human memory and psyche, both my own and something more collective.

"These images are poetic metaphors for something real, intimate and mysterious in our lives."

NAndrzej Jackowski Drawings are at The Northumbria University Gallery in Sandyford Road from May 2 until May 30. The gallery is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 5pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The gallery is closed on Bank Holiday Monday, May 5.

DEEPEST FEELINGS - Study for Love's Voyage II, 1983 by Andrzej Jackowski
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 2, 2003
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