Jack Woolston is an expressionist painter, currently working in the medium of oil paint. His most recent works depict Portraits of men with their heads detached, under pressure from cigarettes and isolated in dark space. The work of Woolston is an investigation into the portrayal of the working class in society and the art world. The symbolism in Woolston’s work emerges from his research into the portrayal of the working class in art, he often employs symbolism used by old masters to denote class for example bare feet found in the work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The portraits featured in his work all taken from life drawings completed in the pubs and working men’s clubs of his hometown Poole Dorset. The themes in Woolston’s work and practice are stereotypes associated with the working class, the division of labour in society and inequality that exists in society. These themes manifest from Woolston’s passion for social science and social history, in particular the writings of theorists Emile Durkheim and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s discourse on the origin of inequality.
The style of his work largely identifies with the works of German expressionists Max Beckmann and Otto Dix, artist’s who comparably undertook their practice in a time of great social and political austerity. A highlight and success in Woolston’s practice to date would be his participation in the group exhibition Anachronism in 2018, alongside fellow Arts University Bournemouth students Woolston displayed the work Lady Shallot. His work was situated at the Russell-Cotes Museum a luxurious backdrop of Art-Nouveau style, his work was installed outside the Museum, to express his concerns over the lack of engagement the museum had with the working class population in the surrounding areas of Poole and Bournemouth. He continues to respond to these themes in his practice.
Jack woolston upon completing his degree at the Arts university Bournemouth was nominated firstly for the Frank Turland prize also for the 2019 platform award which saw three of his works exhibited at the Aspex gallery Portsmouth