Denzil Forrester: From Trench Town to Porthtowan

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 10.46.02 PM.png

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention. For additional information see links below.

Denzil Forrester
From Trench Town to Porthtowan

May 26 – June 23. (Galleries 1-3.)

Jackson Foundation,
North Row, St Just,
Cornwall, TR19 7LB.

Career-spanning exhibition of immersive large-scale paintings exploring themes from sewing bags with his mother to the world of London’s dub reggae clubs curated by Peter Doig and Matthew Higgs.

Forrester is the Jackson Foundation’s first Invited Artist, chosen by the Jackson foundation because of the unique nature of their work – it being interesting, honest art that demands an audience.


I first saw Denzil’s paintings at his Royal College of Art degree show in 1983. It was thrilling and unusual to see depictions of East London’s‘Blues’ and Dub clubs and clubbers painted in those dynamic, large scale works. I was humbled and in awe of the ambition and realness of the vital, imposing canvases.

Denzil’s work stood out because it portrayed a world and scene that was scarcely pictured in the fine arts . . . one that was known to me through music and one that captured the impact that artists such as Linton Kwesi Johnson were having on the times.

Denzil’s series of paintings depicting the brutal murder of his family friend Winston Rose at the hands of the police were as powerful and poignant as any song or ballad being composed about these sadly not uncommon occurrences. But Denzil’s work felt as much connected to the world of painting and painters as it did to that of music: Max Beckmann, Edward Burra, Jorg Immendorf, Jah Shaka, Dennis Bovell and Prince Jazzbo I Roy; to name just a few.

Seeing Denzil’s work again and learning more about how it was made and what inspired him convinced me that a new generation of artists would be as excited to see it as I was.

I believe Denzil Forrester is one of the most important painters to come out of London in the early 80s and his work remains as vital and relevant today as it was then. This large exhibition at the Jackson Foundation, From Trench Town to Porthtowan, will showcase seminal early works as well as recent works painted in Denzil’s new home of Cornwall.

Peter Doig, 2018

Exhibition catalogue can be purchased here

Related items:

Peter Doig Is Helping Denzil Forrester Get the Recognition He Deserves
Naomi Rea, ArtNet News, May 23, 2018

Black people should move from London ghettos to Cornwall, says artist renowned for paintings of police brutality
Lee Trewhela, Cornwall Live, May 21, 3018

See our earlier post:


One thought on “Denzil Forrester: From Trench Town to Porthtowan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s