Jackie Berridge



My work focuses on human nature, in particular group dynamics and social isolation.  I am interested in the many facets of human behaviour - from the kindest of gestures to more sinister actions and Machiavellian treachery.  As well as depicting dramas I also create tiny tales of growing and crumbling relationships using “anthropomorphic beings”, often set in an imaginary landscape.

The fantastical landscapes are inspired by formal public gardens like the Italian Giardini di Boboli and the Arboretum in Nottingham.  These spaces provide the perfect environment for games and interaction.

The cast have human like bodies but topped by heads from rabbits, foxes, donkeys and cows.  Clusters of individuals and lone characters populate the scene where hierarchies, factions, prima donnas, leaders and minions coexist together: mirroring relationships in the workplace, the staffroom and the boardroom.

The source material is wide and varied – from Shakespeare to ‘East Enders’, the playground and family as well as history and politics. I create a central theme with a sideshow of characters with different agendas. The use of “anthropomorphic beings” depersonalises and allows for the exploration of tribal issues and identity.

The paintings appear at first to be naive and child-like, but on closer inspection the ‘playground’ is much darker and sinister.

Whilst I have particular narratives in mind when creating the work, the stories are also deliberately ambiguous allowing the viewer to interpret the work for themselves.

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