Stephen Jackson was trained in Psychology, Logic and Metaphysics at St Andrews - only later as a lecturer and artist. Yet writing has been his passion and his escape since about the age of seven.
Imagine being lucky enough to find yourself landed in a near-fantasy career, and then nearly losing everything? Imagine those around you deciding that it was entirely your own fault? At one point or another I’ve been author or editor of a dozen books as well as a journalist whose features appeared in The Independent, Time Out, Sunday Telegraph and leading national magazines. I was also fortunate enough to work in television films, one of which won Crystal Prize at the Prague Festival; and been cited by BBC Music and Arts as “a writer of the Upper-First Division”. And then I fell through the cracks in the pavement.
But it was only in beating my major bout of the Blues in the mid-1990’s that I discovered the magical potential of digital imaging to transform our preconceptions of what we imagine the world to be like. Is my story one of the Phoenix rising from ashes? Oh, it would be good to think so...
The resulting juxtapositions of my art and poetry have been graciously described as “fascinating and amazing” by a leading US novelist. Elsewhere these visuals found acclaim as “hauntingly beautiful”: the words as “tight and life-enhancing”, with a richness and texture comparable to John Donne’s.
A lot of what I explore now has to do with peeking up the wrong end of the telescope, to see in a clearer light all those walking wounded in the universal and (some might say) necessary battlefields that litter human aspirations and language. There are few outright winners here, except of the most ephemeral kind. The tiny obsessions of middle age: the games all of us sometimes have to play - these are my canvas – and my occasions for humour and optimism. The memories of my own dark period, the fresh revelations of a subsequent sort of rebirth, offer endless avenues of inquiry as well as new and welcome pleasures.