Exhibition Gardens, Melbourne

Born Melbourne, Australia 1924, died Melbourne 2006


The landscapes of Kenneth Jack are lonely, still places. His images of ghost towns and empty parks and streets are captured as the sun is setting and darkness approaches, their lack of human presence creating a disquieting atmosphere.

Jack developed his drawing skills while in the army. In 1942 he joined the Royal Australian Air Force at eighteen years of age. He was assigned to map drawing and lettering while working for the Directorate of Works and Buildings, and prior to being posted to the Pacific region, attended evening classes at the Melbourne Technical College.

Jack later worked as an art instructor for the Education Department of Victoria (1948–68), until leaving the position in 1968 to paint full-time. Jack was a member of the Australian Watercolor Institute from 1955, and the Royal Watercolour Society of London from 1977. He was honoured with the Member of the Order of Australia in 1987, and in 1994 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Victorian Artists Society.

His work is represented in most major collections in Australia and is also included in the collections of the British royal family and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.