College exhibition celebrates Chesterfield artist’s career

Chesterfield artist, Jacky Currell.
Chesterfield artist, Jacky Currell.

A Chesterfield artist who has motor neurone disease is the subject of a major exhibition celebrating her life’s work.

After moving to the town in 1980, sculptor and printmaker, Jacky Currell, taught art at Chesterfield College for 18 years.

Jacky Currell scuplture.

Jacky Currell scuplture.

When she was diagnosed with the serious illness last year, the college decided it would like to host a celebration of her career and creativity.

Despite the fact her illness has robbed her of her ability to speak, she said it felt great to have her work celebrated in this way.

“It is a whole record of my life,” said Jacky.

“The development of so many things are there - especially the relationships - and it’s good to be able to share this with people.”

It is a whole record of my life and it’s good to be able to share this with people.

Chesterfield artist, Jacky Currell

Jacky originally trained at the Bournemouth College of Art, where she was awarded a Rome Scholarship.

She then taught for some time at Plymouth Art School before coming to Chesterfield, and has exhibited extensively throughout her career.

Of her love of art, she says it was ‘always there’.

“I made felt toys to start with – then did sculpture at college, figurative to begin with, then developing into more abstract and symbolic work.

Jacky Currell scuplture.

Jacky Currell scuplture.

“The whole reason for my work is discovery, not working to fixed ideas, but playing with relationships of images and materials.”

Jacky says her illness is ‘exhausting’ and she doesn’t have the strength for sculpture but hopes to get started on some new work soon.

And as well as exhibiting her work at the show, she will also be selling it - with proceeds going towards Ashgate Hospice and motor neurone disease.

“I have so many connections with Ashgate Hospice,” she says.

Jacky Currell print.

Jacky Currell print.

“I designed the stained glass in the new chapel and knew a lot of people there for a long time.

“It’s such a wonderful place and a great support for our community.”

The exhibition opened last Thursday and will run until February 28 at the Chesterfield College Dome.

Jacky Currell print.

Jacky Currell print.