In 2020, artist Kate Jackson was commissioned to make two large scale paintings of The Food Centre in Milton Keynes. An innovative structure at the time of its build in the 1980’s, the Food Centre was designed to house all of the City’s food retail stores under one roof. The paintings of this iconic building celebrate the role the building played in the community and will be available to view on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October 2021 at centre:mk in a unit in Silbury Arcade, next to Central Barbers.

Kate commented about her work “The paintings commemorate and celebrate The Food Centre; its grand scale, its role in building a community, its innovation and its importance in reflecting a moment in time in Milton Keynes Development.

“My work is about the transience of architecture and the evolving urban landscape, traces of the recent past and memory of place. The Food Centre will live long in the collective memory of the people of Milton Keynes and hopefully these two paintings will be seen as a celebration of these memories as the site begins to moves into a new phase of its development.”

Additionally, this weekend, the public have a unique opportunity to meet the artist, Kate Jackson, and watch her in action in the unit, as she maps out a new project. Kate, who was the lead singer for critically acclaimed Indie band ‘The Long Blondes’, has been inspired by life on tour where concrete architectural structures, motorway flyovers, bridges and service stations informed her large scale paintings.

Kate uses layers of acrylic paint to build up an opaque, graphic surface, eliminating all evidence of the brush, so that the work appears at first glance to be printed rather than painted. She uses bright, bold, uplifting colours to portray what are often considered to be ugly ‘concrete monstrosities’ literally in a different light and uses colour palettes that reference pop music and popular ‘low brow’ culture from British film and TV to highlight the relationship between the two.

Kevin Duffy, centre:mk director said “We are delighted to be able to display these iconic paintings here at centre:mk as well as to give Kate Jackson a working space for her to scope out her next project. The centre has always been a huge supporter of the artistic community and we relish every opportunity to be able to use our spaces to bring creativity and art to the city centre where it can be seen and enjoyed by all of our visitors from across the region.”

The Food Centre artwork will be on display in the unit next to Central Barbers, on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October. Kate Jackson will be available to meet and greet, inside the unit over the weekend.

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