Work in Collections

National Gallery of Australia – Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Macquarie Bank Centre of Contemporary Art, Hamilton, New Zealand
Campbelltown Arts Centre
New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale
Wollongong City Art Gallery
Manly Art Gallery and Museum
Faber-Castell Drawing Collection
Janet Holmes à Court Collection
Baker and McKenzie, Sydney
Allen, Allen and Hemsley, Sydney
Maitland City Art Gallery
University of Southern Queensland
University of Wollongong
Mosman Art Gallery
Private Collections in Australia and UK

Awards and Prizes

2002 Mosman Art Prize
1997 Maitland Art Prize
1995 Fisher’s Ghost Art Purchase Prize, Campbelltown City Art Gallery.
1994 Warringah Art Prize
1992 Fairfield Festival Art Prize
1990 Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize – Contemporary, Campbelltown City Art Gallery
1988 Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery
1986 Faber-Castell Prize for Drawing
1980 Nepean River City Council, Jubilee Art Prize
1976 Campbelltown Graphics prize
1966 Scone Prize

Grants and Residences

1994-97 Artist in Residence, Jowalbinna, Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland.
1990 Travel Grant, Visual Art/Craft Board, Australia Council, travelled throughout Europe,
1979 Special projects grant, Visual Arts Board, Australia Council.
1978 Cite des Arts Internationale (Power Studio), Paris
1977 Travel Grant, Visual Art/Craft Board. Australia Council [studio in New York 1978].


1944 — Born July 23rd in mother’s parents home in St Helier, South London, in final year of World War II (second child of four).

1957-59 — Junior art school, where he initially met Mick Rooney. Jackson used to spend quite a bit of time with Mick and he remained a lifelong friend.

1959 — Aged 15, Jackson migrated with his parents to Australia. The family lived first outside Adelaide. Jackson met Ron Lambert on the boat: he became a significant early influence on Jackson’s development.

1960 — Jackson’s family moved to Sydney where he worked as a design draughtsman and window-dresser. He attended drawing and painting evening classes at East Sydney Technical College.

1961 — Returned to London (solo) via Egypt, Italy and France, following his parents’ return to UK. ‘I used my time walking, thinking and dreaming, listening to music, looking at books on Greece and archaeology and imagining. You know, reading about Tutankhamen at 15 years of age and a couple of years later going to Cairo to see it all.’ Full-time art course, Sutton Art School.

1962 — Travelled through Greece, visiting ancient sites, drawing and painting. His parents left the UK again and Jackson stayed on in their flat, sharing it with another student, Gus Cummings (now RA).

1963 — Completed art course, awarded Intermediate Certificate in Art and Crafts. Jackson was awarded the Abbey Scholarship for landscape painting from Royal Academy Schools for Scrap heap. He used it to travel overland (solo) by train from the Hook of Holland, across Europe to Thessaloniki then Athens, Greece, painting and drawing.

1963 — Entered Diploma course in painting, Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK.

1964 — Travelled solo through France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, visiting galleries and museums. Jackson married Suzanne Archer, who was then a student at Sutton Art School.

1965 — National Diploma in Design, Major in Painting. Daughter (Clea) born. Jackson returned to Sydney with Su and their baby daughter, lived on the coast south of Sydney (initially Austinmer and then Thirroul, where he built a studio from found materials with the help of Ron Lambert).

1966-67 — Wollongong Technical College, part-time art teacher. Taught colour theory, drawing and painting, and child art (Saturday classes, ages six-15 years).

1966 — Jackson had his first solo show in the foyer of the Regent Cinema in Wollongong.

1967 — Awarded Scone Art Prize. Travelled to centre of Australia with Ron Lambert and another friend in Ron’s car. Invited to exhibit several works in ‘New Directions’ survey show at Blaxland Gallery, Sydney. Jackson exhibited at the Contemporary Art Society and Young Contemporaries annual shows.

1968 — Moved to Sydney, teaching full time at East Sydney Technical College National Art School.

1969 — Returned to London, UK, with wife and daughter.

1970 — Painting and managing Design Studio in London. Travelled to Holland. Moved back to Sydney (December).

1971 — Teaching part time at East Sydney Technical College. Founding member of Guryganya, an alternative school for young children.

1972 — Following separation from wife, Jackson set up cooperative studios in old Bank building, Redfern, Sydney (with Peter Makula).

1973 — Travelled to Indonesia, South-East Asia, Burma, Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey (with Barbara Neil). Arrived in Greece in April, where he set up studio in a house on Poros island. Jackson lived and painted there for nine months.

1974 — Moved back to Sydney: studio-loft in Chippendale. Teaching at St George Technical College.

1975 — First solo show, Abraxas Gallery Canberra. Part-time teaching at Alexander Mackie College (1975-77). Began building current studio in bush setting at Wedderburn, south west of Sydney.

1976 — Jackson, like many artists, felt strongly about the dismissal of the Whitlam government so he donated work to an auction held at Paddington Town Hall in support of the campaign (‘Artists for Whitlam’). Awarded Campbelltown Art Festival Graphics Prize for Wedderburn drawing, judged by Dr Lloyd Rees.

1977 — Living in studio, Wedderburn. Awarded Special Projects Grant, and Travel Grant, Visual Arts Board, Australia Council.

1978 — Travelled throughout Europe, then to New York where rented studio for five months in Tribeca. Afterwards to Cité Internationale des Arts (Power Studio, University of Sydney), Paris. Travelled via Egypt and India back to studio in Wedderburn.

1980 — Awarded Nepean River County Council Jubilee Prize, judged by Barry Pearce (AGNSW).

1983 — Travelled to Hungary and then Greece where rented a house on Angistri island, Greece, with Ildiko Kovacs. Returned to Australia.

1984-95 — Part-time teaching at East Sydney Technical College National Art School. Living in studio in Wedderburn (for a few years with second wife, Eva, née Kardos: married 1987, separated 1990). Robert Hirschmann built second living-studio space and lived there for a year. Savanhdary Vongpoothorn also used one of Jackson’s studio spaces for several years.

1986 — Awarded Faber-Castell Prize for drawing.

1988 — Awarded Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery.

1990 — Travel Grant, Visual Art and Craft Board, Australia Council: used to travel (solo) to Cyprus, Spain, Switzerland (visiting the Collection de l’Art Brut, donated by Dubuffet to the city of Lausanne), UK and Greece. Awarded Fisher’s Ghost contemporary section prize [Marsden], judged by Bill Wright (AGNSW) at Campbelltown City Art Gallery.

1992 — Awarded Fairfield Art Prize, judged by Terence Maloon (AGNSW). Curated ‘Outsider Art’ exhibition at Campbelltown City Art Gallery.

1992-95 — Artist in residence (during dry season), Jowalbinna, Cape York, Queensland, where Jackson met Maggie Bassendine in 1994.

1994 — Warringah Art Prize.

1995 — Awarded Fisher’s Ghost Art Purchase prize, Campbelltown City Art Gallery. Camping trip around Red Centre with Maggie.

1995-2013 — Australia: Living in studio in Wedderburn. Maggie lived with Jackson in 1996-97 when on sabbatical at the University of Sydney and she subsequently visited at least once a year. Multiple camping trips around New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland—including Cape Leveque and Wandjina rock art in northwest Kimberley region, Aboriginal rock art sites at Jowalbinna (again) and Carnarvon Gorge National Park.

1997 — Awarded Maitland Art Prize, judged by Edmund Capon, Director of AGNSW.

2002 — Awarded Mosman Art Prize, judged by Terence Maloon (AGNSW).

1995-2012 — England: From 1995 Jackson spent some months each year in Northumberland with Maggie and established studios initially in Broomley and then Tynedale Lodge. Extensive travel around the UK and in Europe, including to Greece eight times, drawing and painting. Sketchbook entry from Mackenzies Creek, Macleay Valley, with photograph of Burrel Bulai, a sacred site in Thunghatti country.

2005-2013 — Macleay Valley: Jackson and Maggie purchased land in the upper Macleay Valley (northern tablelands area) of New South Wales and started building ‘Two Sheds’, one intended for living (used for ‘glamping’) and the other used as Jackson’s studio.

2012-2013 — Jackson is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer [he never smoked] in May 2012 while in the UK. Jackson and Maggie have their last trip to Greece: Athens and then Siphnos, where they officially become engaged. Jackson returns to Wedderburn in August 2012 with Maggie. Jackson continues to paint. ‘For me what I do as an ‘artist’ is a way of living. The only thing I can take seriously is getting up in the morning and wandering into the studio and just getting on with that all day. ‘ “It’s a life lived.” There are many ways but I am only interested in doing this one. It’s an ever-ongoing journey that will never arrive but one day will stop.’

2013 — 6th July: Jackson dies at his home in Wedderburn.

Widdin Weddin, Wedderburn

In 2012 Jackson wrote about ‘the gift of Widdin Weddin’:

I was 30 when Elisabeth Cummings in conversation described to me the idea of a small group of artists building their individual studios on 10 acres of bushland given to them by Barb and Nick Romalis.

It was perfect timing for me as I was then living in a top floor factory space in Chippendale, Sydney just off Broadway and was ready to move out of the city. I also knew Wedderburn and had met Barb and Nick years earlier at one of their Jazz and Pig Roast nights.

Widdin Weddin, Wedderburn has now been my home and studio for the past 38 years and my life and work are enmeshed in this place.

Even though I have travelled much and painted many works overseas I have always returned to my studio here in this particular landscape, I know it very well. I know the feel of each day when I wake up and go outside and smell the morning air. I am overwhelmingly part of these trees, this gully, the day and night sky and animals and birdlife that also live here. Much life and love have I lived and shared here.

My painting has been most effected by living in this environment. The studio opens onto it and I look at it every day. If someone asks me what has influenced me most in my work I simply point to the landscape of this place. It is really absurd how a moment of fate turns into destiny, human connections and ideas turn into a life lived.

So it has been for me through the wonderful generosity of Barb and Nick and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. The spark of an idea to give a few artists a place in the bush to build studios and live and work without the pressure of rent or mortgage has become this place Widdin Weddin, where those artists have lived and worked all these years turning that spark into a bright flame.

2012 - Resident members (italics) of Widdin Weddin land-holding artist’s company (now 25 acres in Wedderburn): from left to right, Teresa Bell (new member), Fred Braat, Elizabeth Cummings, Barbara Romalis, Nick Romalis, Roy Jackson, John Peart.
2012 – Resident members (italics) of Widdin Weddin land-holding artist’s company (now 25 acres in Wedderburn): from left to right, Teresa Bell (new member), Fred Braat, Elizabeth Cummings, Barbara Romalis, Nick Romalis, Roy Jackson, John Peart.
Jackson building studio 1975/6
Jackson building studio 1975/6
Inside Wedderburn studio, early days
Inside Wedderburn studio, early days
Inside Wedderburn studio, 1990s
Inside Wedderburn studio, 1990s
Inside Wedderburn studio 2013
Inside Wedderburn studio 2013